Good old Santa, my ass!

entry written: 13.12.01
about the real Santa Claus

We're closing in on christmas, the day we all eat 140 times more than a normal human being need to, and shout at our drunk relatives, having a great time opening packages of commercial, in-wrapped stuff we'll never use.Down the chimney we've Santa Claus bringing the kids presents, while Jesus (eh, from the Bible) is all forgotten. Who is this Santa anyway? That's what I'm trying to find out here!
We have to be certain of some facts, before we endure ourselves in the mythological history of Santa, so let's sum it. The Norwegian word for a Santa Claus is Nisse. As some American movies have misinformed, HE IS NOT NORWEGIAN! There is, however, a norwegian nisse although not like Santa at all. I'll come back to them.

To find the first appearance of Santa one must back to ancient Rome. About year 300, the bishop in Lilleasia (today's Turkey), was Nicolaus. He was an orphan brought up by men of the church. Since most of the historical sources of the time are regarded untrue (or uncertain), this information's based on stories
and legends. He soon gained a good reputation as a helper of those in need, and a protector of the weak in a time of war and persecution. He also got some of his characteristics from the ancient cult of Poseidon (Greek mythology). Most known although, are the stories of Nicolaus as a protector of the children. In some of these he's also brought presents to the kids. When Nicolaus died at the 6th of December, he was soon sainted. His popularity grew and 3000 churches was founded as Saint Nicolaus churches. Around the 1200's the Saint reappeared, giving presents to children, first of all in Germany. The custom of handing Saint Nicolaus
presents to each other on the 6th Dec. spread, normally being handed out by a person dressed as a bishop. The custom evolved to having modelboats or paper-hats placed by the window, then the next morning it would be filled with sweets. As many were poor the boats soon became shoes, from where we've the christmas stockings. In some countries, Nicolaus got himself a helper, in some an evil twin who punished the bad kids as the good got presents from Nicolaus. In the Netherlands this helper was called Swart Piet (from where the norwegian term Svarte-Petter has evolved), and this guy started the chimney-business. During the reformation, the holy church tried to kill St. Nicolaus, but he's grown strong roots in the children of the world. The protestants made up their Weinachtsman, but the dutch protestants kept their Nicolaus. Even entering the new world, they brought with their Sinterklas who became the american Santa Claus, like this one from the Coca-Cola
Santa Claus by the Coca Cola Company Company. First off to mention his reindeer was Clement C. Moore, who made Santa a public figure through the poem "A visit by Santa" released in 1823. This also helped people creating a similar shape of the guy. The person who made him to what he is now, fat, beardy and red, was the newspaper-drawer Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly (during the 1860's). The swedish-american ad-designer Haddon Sundblom, perfected him 1963 during a Coca Cola christmas campaign. Santa Claus was now an irritating fact. The Europeans kept their own picture of
the figure, though. We have a Santa Claus in Norway called Julenissen, coming from Nicolaus (Nils) and Yule (the hedonistic name for x-mas). The common helper of the Julenisse put on every milkcarton in the country, is his small nisser. These are the one intruiging me. They lived/live in the barn on every farm, where they stole food and shelter from the people living there. They were small (as mentioned), like goblins or gnomes, and had high-tone voices. If you accidently heard them speak, you could loose your ears. They were more like pest than help. It's true that they could be good to the people, if they treated them well. But in other cases, where they weren't fed or hadn't been customed as they should've, they could kill animals of the farm or even young children (mostly babies). The question is; why is the (holy?) Saint Nicolaus fooling around with small demons?? You tell me!

Is there a Santa Claus?
Many ppl actually believe in him. In America (with all the people), one could almost consider it a religous spawn of the catholic christianity. If you still don't know what to believe, consider this:
1) No known species of reindeer can fly. There are still 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and one of these COULD be an unknown branch of the reindeer family.

2) There are 2 billion people under 18yrs in the world, but since Santa doesn't seem to take care of the Muslims, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, we're down to 15% of the total, 378 million people (PRB*). At an average 3,5 kids pr. household, it makes 91,8 million homes.

3) Santa has 30 hours to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the Earth, assuming he goes from East to West. This works out being 822.6 visits per second, meaning at a household with a good child he's got 1/1000th of a second to do his thing. Assuming that these 91,8 million stops are evenly distributed around the world, we're talking .78 miles per household = a total trip of 50-75 million miles, not counting stops.
To do this the sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second (3000 times the speed of sound).

5) The toys brought by Santa, say they weigh 2 pounds each, will make a total of 321,300 tons not counting Santa. On land, reindeer can carry 300 pounds, let's say the airborn animals can take ten times that, we're left with 214,300 reindeers pulling the sleigh. This increases the payload to 353,430 tons.

6a) 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance. The lead pair of reindeers will absorb 14,3 quantillion joules of energy. Per second. Each.
They will burst into flames immediately, exposing the reindeers behind them, leaving the hole team of 214,300 reindeers vaporized in 4.26 thousandths of a second.

6b) Santa will in the meanwhile be subjected to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.

1-6 = If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he's dead now. Ho, ho, fucking ho!

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* PRB=Population Reference Bureau
txt src=", Spy Magazine"