It's Christmas Eve, and the whole world is lit up with beautiful twinkling lights and festive music. Santa Claus is getting ready for his yearly journey, but did you know that there are some really strange and curious stories about him?
Forget about the image of the big man in the red costume, and let's dive together into the wacky and fantastic world of Jolly Old St. Nick.
Get cozy with a warm blanket and a cup of hot cocoa, and let's explore!
13. Forbes' Fictional 15 Snub
Picture Santa Claus, that timeless symbol of generosity, rubbing shoulders with fictional tycoons on Forbes' Fictional 15 list. However, since 2006, he has been conspicuously absent.
This curious turn of events occurred when dissatisfied readers, steadfast in their belief of Santa's reality, bombarded Forbes with letters. The "physical evidence" they presented—such as toys delivered and cookies devoured—compelled editors to err on the side of caution and remove him from consideration, leaving the mysterious benefactor out of the exclusive list.
12. Speedy Santa's Global Dash
The brilliance of Santa's annual task is genuinely staggering. Picture this: 2.1 billion children scattered across the globe, with an average of 2.5 children per household, eagerly anticipating a visit from the man in red.
On Christmas Eve, Santa has a mere 31 hours to make an astounding 842 million stops, navigating through the vastness of time zone differences. To achieve this seemingly impossible feat, his magical sleigh must hurtle through the night at an astonishing speed of 1,800 miles per second—leaving even NASA's Juno spacecraft trailing far behind.
11. Coca-Cola's Colorful Influence
The notion of Santa's wardrobe, adorned in the iconic red-and-white suit, owes a debt to the Coca-Cola company. Since 1931, Coca-Cola has been pivotal in shaping Santa's look, seamlessly integrating him into their holiday advertising campaigns.
What began as a marketing strategy has now become a timeless representation of holiday cheer, as Santa throws on the familiar colorings that have graced festive celebrations for generations.
10. Mrs. Claus Steps Into the Spotlight
Beyond the rosy-cheeked and bearded icon exists a counterpart in the form of Mrs. Claus. While she might have been a background figure for many years, her journey into the limelight began with an 1849 short story titled "A Christmas Legend."
However, in 1889, through a poem titled "Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride," Mrs. Claus voiced her desire for a more prominent role in the holiday narrative. No longer content with the sidelines, she questioned, "Why should you have all the glory of the joyous Christmas story?" This began her emergence as a key figure in our Christmas tales.
9. Chimney Delivery Innovation
Long before "Twas the Night Before Christmas" became a holiday staple, Washington Irving, renowned for "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," contributed to the evolution of Santa's gift delivery methods.
In his short story 1812, titled "Knickerbocker's History of New York," Irving described Santa as "rattling down the chimney" to bring presents to children. This imaginative twist laid the groundwork for the iconic image of Santa making his grand entrance through chimneys—a narrative element that would later be refined in the famous poem.
8. Mystery of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
The timeless poem, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," a holiday staple published anonymously in 1823, carries an air of mystery surrounding its true authorship.
Although credited to Clement Clarke Moore in 1844, debates persist, with some claiming it was stolen from the true author, Henry Livingston, Jr. Allegedly, an old manuscript supporting this argument was tragically destroyed in a fire, leaving the mystery unsolved to this day.
7. Santa's Indiana Hideout
Since around 1914, every letter addressed to Santa Claus has reached a small post office in Santa Claus, Indiana. Here, a dedicated postmaster and his team of "elf" volunteers ensure that each letter receives a handwritten reply.
Pat Koch, carrying on a tradition started by his father, emphasizes the personal touch in these replies. In the enchanting world of Santa Claus, letters from children become treasured keepsakes, fostering the spirit of joy and generosity.
6. Santa's Sleighload Dilemma
For all the joy Santa brings, a logistical challenge stretches beyond the magic: the weight of the presents he carries in his sleigh. Santa must transport a staggering 400,000 tons of toys to fulfil his gift-giving duties.
This hefty payload requires more than the legendary team of nine reindeer—Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph. He'd require an unbelievable fleet of at least 360,000 magical reindeer to lift off with such a colossal load.
5. Santa's Salary Debate
As the bringer of joy and gifts, one might wonder: Does Santa deserve a salary? In a lighthearted attempt to calculate Santa's earning potential, the writers at Insure.com suggested a figure of around $140,000 a year.
However, public opinions vary widely, with a survey revealing diverse perspectives. While 29% believed Santa should earn a staggering $1.8 billion annually, another 29% felt he should take on the role pro bono. A smaller faction, 17%, believed a more modest salary under $100,000 would suffice, and 16% suggested a salary ranging from $100,000 to $200,000.
4. Philadelphia Eagles Snowball Showdown
The enchantment of the holiday season collided with sports fervor in 1968 when Santa Claus made an unexpected halftime appearance at a snowy Philadelphia Eagles game.
However, the festive atmosphere turned frosty as boos and snowballs greeted the jolly old elf. Surprisingly, the consensus among fans was that "Santa had it coming." When asked if he'd repeat the performance, the man behind the Santa suit quipped, "No way. If it doesn't snow, they'll probably throw beer bottles."
3. Battle of the Hometowns
The title of Santa's official hometown is being contested between North Pole, Alaska and Rovaniemi, Finland.
While North Pole, Alaska proclaims itself as "Santa's house in the North Pole," Rovaniemi claims that their Santa Claus Village is "the only place in the world where you can meet Santa Claus 365 days a year."
As these towns compete in good spirits for Santa's attention, one wonders if it would be possible for Santa to divide his time between these two festive locations.
2. Santa: Marvel's Most Powerful Mutant
Marvel Comics, known for its array of superheroes, added a surprising character to its ranks in 1991—the only Santa Claus. In a particular X-Men comic, Santa is designated as an Omega-level mutant possessing extraordinary abilities.
According to Cerebro, the mutant-detecting device created by Professor X, Santa's powers include immortality, telepathy, teleportation, weather manipulation, molecular manipulation, immunity to cold and heat, and gravity manipulation.
1. Santa's Legal Flight Status
While the notion of Santa's sleigh soaring through the night sky is pure magic, there's an unexpected touch of bureaucracy in his story. 1927, Santa received an official pilot's license from the U.S. government, solidifying his status as a legal flyer.
Furthermore, in 2013, Santa and Mrs. Claus were issued ePassports by Canada during a special ceremony in Toronto. Immigration Minister Chris Alexander emphasized the importance of these passports, stating that they are among the world's most accepted and secure travel documents.
So, as you hang those stockings and await the sound of reindeer hooves on your rooftop this holiday season, remember that Santa's world is as fantastical and extraordinary as the joy he brings each Christmas Eve.