Last updated on: 12/19/2022 | Author:

History of Santa Claus

Once a year, millions of children around the world eagerly wait for a plump, bearded man dressed in red and white to bring them presents to open on Dec. 25. Known as Santa Claus, his origins are mysterious and his very existence has been disputed. Some people believe that he lives and works in the North Pole, employs a group of elves to manufacture toys, distributes the gifts annually with the aid of flying reindeer, and regularly utters “ho ho ho” in a commanding voice.

But is Santa Claus man or myth? Santa proponents argue that he is commonly sighted at shopping malls, that the disappearance of milk and cookies left for him is evidence of his existence, and that, after all, those Christmas gifts have to come from somewhere. Read more history…


Pro & Con Arguments

Pro 1

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

“He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy… He lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.” [6]

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Pro 2

“Mountains of historical data and more than 50 years of NORAD tracking information leads us to believe that Santa Claus is alive and well in the hearts of people throughout the world.”

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), “based on flight profile data gathered from over 50 years of NORAD’s radar and satellite tracking, concludes that Santa probably stands about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs approximately 260 pounds (before cookies). Based on fighter-aircraft photos, we know he has a generous girth (belly), rosy cheeks from sleigh riding in cold weather, and a flowing white beard.

NORAD can confirm that Santa’s sleigh is a versatile, all weather, multi-purpose, vertical short-take-off and landing vehicle. It is capable of traveling vast distances without refueling and is deployed, as far as we know, only on December 24th (and sometimes briefly for a test flight about a month before Christmas).”[7]

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Pro 3

“Science has long shown that Santa Claus is real, and those who claim otherwise are invariably in the pocket of the big toy companies, who don’t want people thinking they can get free playthings and so will pay for their products.”

Neuroscientist Dean Burnett, stated, “But the evidence is beyond any reasonable doubt, and the arguments of the Santa deniers have been repeatedly debunked…

Admittedly, the whole ‘flying reindeer’ thing does seem very far-fetched, and this is a fair accusation. Investigations suggest that the flying reindeer image is a distortion of the truth, in that reindeer are native to the Arctic so Santa may well keep reindeer on his premises and perhaps they did pull his sleigh originally. But there is substantial evidence now to suggest that Santa powers his sled with the energy obtained from a precisely controlled quantum singularity. Basically, Santa has access to a small black hole, which he uses to perform his duties.” [8]

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Con 1

“Bah! Humbug!”

“What else can I be [but cross]… when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for finding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ’em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” [11]

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Con 2

“Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical).”

An anonymous source told Spy Magazine, “This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house.

Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth… we are now talking about .78 miles per household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles…

This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man- made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second – a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour…

The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa…

On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that ‘flying reindeer’… could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine.

We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload – not even counting the weight of the sleigh – to 353,430 tons.” [9]

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Did You Know?
1. The first time Santa appeared in his now-classic red and white outfit was in work by illustrator Thomas Nast, published in Harper's Weekly on December 25, 1866. [1]
2. Every Christmas since 1958 the North American Aerospace Defense Command (known as NORAD) has tracked Santa's worldwide flight using radar and satellites. [2]
3. Santa's ancestor, St. Nicholas, was a monk born around 280 AD in what is now known as Turkey. [3]
4. The first time Santa was spotted in a department store was in 1890 in Brockton, Massachusetts. [4]
5. Mrs. Claus first appeared in the 1849 short story "A Christmas Legend" by James Rees and was popularized by Katherine Lee Bates' 1889 poem "Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride." [5]
6. Santa didn't get reindeer until Clement Moore's 1822 poem "A Visit From Saint Nicholas," now known as "Twas the Night Before Christmas" was published anonymously in the Troy, N.Y., Sentinel on Dec. 23, 1823. [5]


Up for Debate
Should Halloween Be Moved Permanently to Saturday? Proponents say Saturday Halloween would be safer for kids. Opponents say Saturday is the most dangerous day for kids to be out.
Should the United States Keep Daylight Saving Time? Proponents say longer daylight hours promote safety. Opponents say the time change is bad for your health.
Should Election Day be a National Holiday? Proponents say an election day holiday will increase voter turnout. Opponents say would disadvantage low-income and blue collar workers.

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