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A proof of Christmas magic

From an early age, I was asking the one most important question in my mind- how can Santa get around to every child in one night. And obviously, the answer is ‘Christmas magic’. As Christmas is on its way, my child self is still wondering about this unfinished answer. So yes, here I am 10 years later ready to prove it.

There are around 2 billion children on the Earth. Of these, let’s assume Santa only visits those who celebrate the holiday. Removing Jew, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist children, that leaves around 378 million. Still pretty high for one night.

But luckily, the time zones are in his favour, giving him 24 hours not 12. To make his job slightly easier, let’s split the job based on houses and not per child. 3.5 children per family means around 108,000,000 homes. Some simple physics shows that he has to deliver 1250 houses per second. Yep, that sounds like a slight challenge. And we’re forgetting that there are oceans and fields with nothing in between.

Say the world is 75 million miles to travel around. His famous red slay must travel 650 miles per second, land on each and every roof, slide down each and every chimney and scoff a couple of mince pies and a mug of milk. All this, without burning spontaneously into flames. We’ve not even started considering the speed of reindeers, the weight of the presents and the force against it. The weather as well or toilet trips or a little nap.

And that, for my child self, is a proof why the answer must be magic. Christmas clearly is the most magical time of the year.


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