By Elf Ed Zachary
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? Can't you just accept that he does it and be happy?" But Santa heard me say that once and now he won't let me say it any more. So I started telling kids that it's just magic. But Santa didn't like that answer either.
What does he expect me to do with these whiny questions? Why this and how that? Why? How? Why? How? It's 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 here's the big secret: Location.
That's right, it's not magic. It's the first three rules of retail. It's why you're at a comfortable climate and I'm at the North Pole. It's why Jackson won the battle of New Orleans and the British…well, -- you get the point. Let's 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. It's 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 you'll 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, it's also in none of them. (You following this? Magic is starting to sound better and better, isn't 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.