My wife and I recently started Christmas shopping for this year. That, of course, leads to conversations of what gifts will be from us to our children and what gifts will be from Santa. And we have to figure out how can we guide our children's gift requests to prepare them for what we actually bought for them
Many Christians dismiss Santa Claus and refuse to mislead their children with the idea of a fantasy philanthropic fat man that gives free gifts to all the kids on earth. I’m not going to pass judgment either way. But, no matter which side of the argument you are on, at some point you will probably tell your children that Santa does not exist. I beg you, please don’t crush them with the “I’m sorry, I’ve been lying to you for years” routine I’m sure you were dealt in elementary school.
If you’re still reading this, then I’m sure you are well aware of how unreasonable it is for Santa Claus to exist. You know that reindeer can’t fly, elves make cookies instead of toys, and the magical delivery of toys all over the world in one night seems incredibly unlikely. To your children, however, this is what they have known to be reality for their entire lives.
As a math guy, I like to have logical, rational evidence about a subject before I make my final verdict. Simply dismissing ideas because they seem implausible is definitely the easy thing to do, but it’s really no fun at all. That’s why I have spent some time thinking about practical, logical reasons that Santa cannot exist. This is how I intend to break the news to my own children in a few years. I plan to present this list as though I recently figured it out and I will act as if I am as shocked as they are. Feel free to use this list as you see fit.
1. Copyright/Trademark Laws – This may not have been an issue in the age of custom wooden toys and trinkets, but in the modern age of branding and patents, toys being constructed by elves just doesn’t make sense. Think about it. Why on earth would Sony take on the liability of Playstation 3 consoles built and programmed at the North Pole? Do you think Fisher Price would take a hit for a faulty Big Wheel the elves messed up on because they were rushing to make a quota? There is no way that name brand toys could be constructed by Santa’s helpers. That’s an impossible scenario.
2. Lack of Duplication – Have you ever heard the story about the kids that got the exact same gifts from Santa and their parents? Me neither. Surely, with millions of homes being visited every year, there would be a last minute gift purchased that would be an exact replica of a Santa gift. That.Has.Never.Happened. The only possible explanations for this are: a. parents do not buy gifts, b. Santa magically comes up with something new when he arrives at each home, c. Santa doesn’t exist.
a. Seriously, look at my bank account. Parents buy gifts. This cannot be the correct explanation.
b. If this is the case, it doesn’t make sense for Santa to ask you what you want for Christmas. Letters to Santa do not matter. Elves do not construct toys “just for you.” These are vital aspects of the story of Santa, so it would be a direct contradiction to assume that Santa does not determine gifts before his arrival. This cannot be the correct explanation.
c. Since the first two options have been eliminated, the only explanation for the lack of duplication of gifts is that Santa does not exist.
3. Home Security Systems – There are home security systems that have those crazy spy lasers where, if touched, set off alarms and booby traps. Well, maybe not the traps. But even assuming he could magically escape before the police arrives, there should still be an amazing increase in reported home invasions on Christmas Eve. Based on my research, that is not the case. So if Santa truly is a fat dude that physically eats cookies and puts gifts under the trees, it would be impossible for him to not set off an alarm or two. Santa could not possibly enter millions of homes each year.
4. The Wrapping Paradox – In the month or so leading up to Christmas this past year, I saw countless conversations on Facebook about whether or not Santa wraps gifts. Some believe he uses special paper, while others have never seen a wrapped gift from Santa. This creates a large problem from my point of view. If you are running an operation as big as delivering millions of gifts all across the world in one night, you would have to be organized. Your processes would have to be streamlined. So, for some gifts to be wrapped and others not wrapped, that just does not make sense. This whole thing must be a sham.
5. The Cookie Dilemma – At my house, we leave cookies out for Santa. Perhaps that is only to ensure that I get some cookies, but they are left out regardless. I would think that most homes with young children that are expecting Santa do the same. To be safe, let’s assume that only half the homes visited by Santa leave cookies for him. Let’s also assume they each only leave out one Oreo cookie (I realize the types and brands of cookies vary, but I really like Oreos). Being even more conservative, let’s assume he only visits five million homes here in America.
Let’s do the math. If he visits five million homes, that means two and a half million homes leave out at least one Oreo cookie. It is absolutely impossible for one person to consume that many cookies in one night. Believe me, I’ve tried. Thus, Santa Claus does not exist.
Is this an exact science? Not really. Will it be enough to convince my children that Santa doesn’t exist without me telling them I’ve been lying to them? I sure hope so. Have I spent too much time thinking about cookies? There is no doubt.
Do you have any interesting stories about how you or someone you know found out that Santa does not exist?