One of the most common questions we get around here goes along the lines of "How is it possible that Santa Claus can visit the house of every child all in one night?"
When kids ask this my initial response is "Sheesh, what kind of kid are you? Canít you just accept that he does it and be happy?" But Santa heard me say that once and now he wonít let me say it any more. So I started telling kids that itís just magic. But Santa didnít like that answer either.
What does he expect me to do with these whiny questions? Why this and how that? Why? How? Why? How? Itís like the constant bark of a wolf. Pass me a squirt gun already.
I mean -- does the Big Guy actually expect me to explain the complex logistics of getting something like a billion toys delivered around the world in a single night?
Evidently he does.
~ The Big Secret ~
OK, so hereís the big secret: Location.
Thatís right, itís not magic. Itís the first three rules of retail. Itís why youíre at a comfortable climate and Iím at the North Pole. Itís why Jackson won the battle of New Orleans and the BritishÖwell, -- you get the point. Letís just say that Santa picked his spot a long time ago, and picked it well.
First consider this: when you are at the North Pole, every direction is south. Itís true. The sun rises and sets in the south here. You can have a perfectly round house, made entirely of glass, and all the windows face south. Look at a globe, and I think youíll get the picture.
Santa simply sets off on Christmas Eve and travels in every direction at once, simply by heading south. How quickly would your errands get done if they all lay in one direction? Trust me, it makes a big difference.
Secondly, and most importantly, are the time zones. Get your globe back out and have a look at those lines that run north and south. These are called meridians and time zones are based (for the most part) on meridians.
And guess what?
All meridians meet and form a point at the poles. That is to say the North Pole is in every time zone at once. Not only that, itís also in none of them. (You following this? Magic is starting to sound better and better, isnít it?).
Santa Claus can leave home at noon on the 26th and still be out of your house before you wipe the sleep from your eyes on Christmas morning. And take time off at every house to have a couple cookies. If he ever falls behind all he has to do is go home and then head south again.
See? Everything has a simple, logical explanation when you take time to look at the facts.
Elf Ed Zachary works at the North Pole Public Relations Department as a columnist for the North Pole Gazette. His views are usually stated rather bluntly. But we love him anyway. You can reach Elf Ed via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.