Christmas Conundrums

Photo by cottonbro on

Children have so many questions to ask about Christmas, some of them unbelievably complex and few of them satisfactorily resolved with a packet of Midget Gems and a bottle of Cresta, but do not despair, all queries can be answered to the complete satisfaction of the juvenile brainboxes with the careful application of scientific principle and baseless speculation.  It might be necessary to take two plus two and make something that neither of you has ever heard of, but do not panic, extensive research (half a bottle of Single Malt) has furnished me with the following irrefutable answers…

Einstein demonstrated that in travelling faster than the speed of light, it is possible to travel back through time – even though travelling slower than the speed of light does not, for whatever reason, appear to throw us forward.  I have friends who walk so slowly they should be five years ahead of themselves by now: if they took any longer in getting to places, they would be perpetually early.  (Eh?)  Anyway, putting that to one side – which we must do to ensure that my brain does not melt and trickle out though my ears – I presume that by travelling at exactly 299,792,458 metres per second (670,616,629 mph in old money) it should be possible to actually make time stand still.  Now, I realise that this would be a bit of a lick for nine reindeer pulling a sleigh, but I figure that it’s a bit like dragging a three year old around the Garden Centre: once you get them moving, almost all resistance vanishes as long as you just keep going and maintain a reasonable distance from the Haribo. This then, is how the reindeer get up to speed and how Santa gets around the world in a day and, as it has been made provable by Einstein, it is per se true beyond all reason.  Set the tachometer for ‘Speed of Light’ and you have all the time in the world to deliver all manner of tat to the 2 billion children that inhabit it.

By my calculation (computer aided guesswork) that is 83,333,333 presents per hour, which must be a doddle with time standing still and the little buggers, for once, doing the same.  Mind you with – let’s be conservative – about a billion sweet Sherries on board by the end of the night, Santa probably needs a little ‘getting out of the chimney’ time available I suppose.  Christmas Eve intake often means that I, myself, often struggle to get into and out of a T-shirt without wedging my head in the armhole.  And I’m guessing that by Christmas morning the reindeer will probably never want to see another carrot for as long as they live – or until next Christmas Eve, whichever comes soonest (I’ve been to Finland and witnessed the attrition rate of reindeer on the roads there.  Quite how they manage to survive year after year without winding up as grille ornaments on a Scandinavian bus is, frankly, beyond me).  I would like to think that Santa shares a glass or two of Oloroso with his antlered friends: it would explain Rudolph’s nose after all.  Let’s face it, if you were expected to lug a giant sledge all the way around the world in a single day with nothing but another reindeer’s arse for a view all the way, you’d probably require something by way of distraction yourself.

More difficult to explain is, of course, how Santa fits 2 billion presents onto his sled, or indeed how the reindeer manage to pull it.  My little car just about manages to pull the Christmas ‘big shop’ home; it certainly wouldn’t get airborne without me dumping the sprouts.  Don’t worry, I do have a theory which just might make sense of it all.  If you are travelling at the speed of light and the Universe is, therefore, standing still and not doing any of that rapidly expanding nonsense, it would take no time at all (quite literally) to nip out to the nearest black hole and have the entire contents of a sled, including ribbons and bows, compressed down to the size of a pickled walnut.  I have seen those bags that you pack your unseasonal underwear away in before sucking all the air out of them with a vacuum cleaner – proof, if any was needed, that Hoovers do not have a trade union – and the way in which they expand to something like ten times their original size if they become victim to the tiniest pin-prick violation.  I imagine that the heavily condensed Santa-freight is probably decompressed in much the same way, tempted out of squished oblivion by an unexpected chimney descent and the faintest whiff of Santa’s amontillado exhalations.  Full expansion must take place post-stocking insertion, explaining why nobody can get the wooden fort out of the bloody thing in the morning without unpicking the stitching.

And in case you’re wondering how, with four billion eyes soon to be scouring the skies for him from dusk to dawn, S.C. manages to make it through the night totally unseen, well here’s an experiment for you: shine a torch into a darkened room, shrouded through a toilet roll holder.  You cannot see the light until it hits a wall when it is reflected back into your eye.  The beam of light, although obviously still there, is not visible.  This is the same with the old man in red, as he is also travelling at the speed of light and would only be seen if he crashed into a wall.

I hope this helps.


10 thoughts on “Christmas Conundrums

  1. Very competent explanation in my opinion.
    We had a conspiracy theory when the kids were young. Santa has a lot of helpers and you don’t know who they might be. Yours is brainier, though.
    F.Y.I. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command based here in Colorado Springs) does track Santa via radar and they have a website you can use to watch where he’s at:

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  2. A very good explanation. You must have very inquisitive grandchildren. I never asked anything about S.C. Probably had a worry about Rudolf and his team but not the fat bearded man. I was born a cynic. Didn’t believe any of it. I probably asked my dad and he would have told me the truth. Fantasy is way better!

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  3. How about me combining the theory that: if someone is travelling at the speed of light, facing the direction of travel, with a mirror in front of them, then they cannot see a reflection, because… Could it be that those that travel at the speed of light, (as is the case for S.C.) are indeed vampires, as it is said that they cannot be seen in a mirror. FYI I don’t do Christmas, it’s so darn peaceful and scientifically quite interesting to do a spot of anthropology.

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  4. Santa’s Grotto! What an absolute rip off. £8.50 and 45 minutes queuing in order to sit on Santa’s knee, have a very poor selfie taken with him, and then be palmed off with a crap toy. I’m just pleased I never took any kids with me!

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