One of my favorite parts of being a dad is getting to the play the role of Santa Claus. There is just something invigorating about the rush of Christmas Eve. With a tower of presents needing to be wrapped, each stocking waiting to be perfectly packed and presented, and even the frustrations of fumbling through the instruction manuals of those 1000-piece toy sets that must be constructed and ready for Christmas morning—each offers a sense of excitement for me. But it’s a miracle it all gets done!
Speaking of miracles, have you ever considered the logistics involved in Jolly Old Saint Nick’s task of delivering presents to every kid around the world in just one night? Well, Larry Silverberg, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University, has a few theories!
With approximately 200 million children spread over 200 million square miles, Santa needs to cover 122 million miles. Assuming that each household averages 2.67 children, there are about seventy-five million homes to visit in a twenty-four-hour timespan. To travel so great a distance in such a short time, Santa’s sleigh would need to move at an average speed of 5,083,000 mph. It would be difficult, but not impossible, considering that light travels 130 times faster!
Another possible theory involves the deployment of multiple sleighs, about 750 to be exact. If Santa divided his workload among his elves, employing an army of jetpack-powered sleighs, each one would need to travel only about eighty mph to complete its portion of the job. This sounds like a much more realistic scenario!
Additional time-saving tools might include taking advantage of various time zones around the world or making use of relativity clouds to manipulate time. The bottom line is that Santa Claus has to travel a great distance at unrealistic speeds to fulfill his gift-giving duties.
Luckily for us, we don’t have to face the daunting task of traveling millions of miles to complete our holiday honey-do’s! We don’t even have to leave Saline County in order to fill our sleighs with the hottest gifts this Christmas! Our community is blessed with a wide variety of locally-owned businesses that allow us to shop nearby.
In this Holiday Edition of Saline County Lifestyles, we bring you Volume 2 of the “Elves of Saline,” as we feature another group of local entrepreneur “elves” who can help make your shopping struggles this Christmas a little less stressful and a lot jollier. On behalf of everyone who contributed to this issue, let me wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Your town. Your life. Your magazine.