Six Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Santa Claus

How much do you know about Santa Claus? Most people are unaware of these six basic facts.

Actually, one of the elves probably invented this

Diagrams from Santa’s human-powered sleigh patent (US1419558 A)

1. Santa initially used birds to deliver presents. He ended this practice after receiving many complaints: the owls, hungry after a hard night’s work, would sometimes carry off a family pet, and the swallows were just too slow (an unladen swallow travels about 24 miles per hour, and they’re even slower when carrying gifts). He tried using bats next, but those were considered “too creepy”. Dogs and cats were perceived as friendlier but were often mistaken for gifts themselves. Eventually, Santa decided to deliver all the presents personally. He started with a human-powered sleigh and soon switched to the now-familiar reindeer-powered model.

2. Since its inception in 1790, the United Stated Patent and Trademark Office has issued 437 patents to Santa Claus, including “Method for Rapid Delivery of Items Utilizing Airborne Woodland Creatures”, “System and Method for Calculating Metrics of Naughtiness/Niceness Based On Observed Behavior”, “Aqueous Solution to Facilitate Rapid Movement Through Chimneys or Other Narrow, High-Friction Passageways“, 27 patents related to surveillance technology, and several hundred patents related to toy design and manufacturing.

3. The International Federation of Competitive Eating banned Santa from all eating competitions after the 1997 Extreme Cookies and Milk Challenge. Santa ate all his cookies in record time, grabbed and ate some of his competitors’ cookies, and then got into a brawl with another celebrity contestant over a packet of Oreos held by an audience member. That other contestant, a popular children’s entertainer, later attempted to rehabilitate his image by appearing in a public service announcement.

4. Santa’s patent attorneys have filed over a dozen FOIA requests in an attempt to determine whether the NSA has been using any patented Naughty-or-Nice™ surveillance technology without paying licensing fees. None of those requests has been answered.

5. He performs annual feasibility studies to evaluate the practicality of replacing his Rudolph-based navigation system with GPS. The conclusion is the same every time: while modern commercial GPS devices can store thousands of waypoints, none have the capacity to handle the 447,304,311 destinations that Santa needs to visit. And even if one did, it would take his fastest elf at least 14 years to enter all those addresses into the system.

6. He once shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die.

If you’re feeling lonely or isolated on Christmas, check out Company For Christmas, where a bunch of bloggers will be hanging out throughout the day. I’ll be there from 10pm-12pm PDT on Christmas Eve (in other words, for two hours starting at this time).

18 comments on “Six Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Santa Claus

  1. Elyse says:

    It was a treat to see your name in my inbox. Laura.

    And then i got to laugh at each item that i had in fact, NOT known about Santa. Except for the bats. I seem to remember some in my house when I was very little …

    Merry Christmas! See you at C4C

    • Laura says:

      Thanks! Merry Christmas.

      Santa stopped using bats hundreds of years ago, but some of them were so moved by the Christmas spirit that they continue the tradition on their own, visiting houses to spread joy and rabies.

  2. Gail says:

    Has anyone investigated a possible financial link between Santa Claus and Amazon’s current drone research?

  3. Holly Folly says:

    You know, I bet Santa is really good at hiding bodies.

  4. joehoover says:

    No 6 killed me, hope you have a great Xmas!

  5. “then got into a brawl with another celebrity contestant over a packet of Oreos”—Can you blame Santa? Oreos would totally be worth it.

  6. yearstricken says:

    Brilliant as usual. Thank you for the laughs.

  7. Dana says:

    Love it! Maybe I should switch from my newfangled GPS to Rudolph-powered technology? (Or is that like saying I want to utilize CIA software on my home computer? Totally not available to commoners…)

  8. Just stopped by to wish you a New Year full of hilarity and adventure
    (And Santa’s bird use had many waiting his bird carried gift items with weapons – not looking for a mealtime bird dish – but they were darn upset over the bird droppings from the last flight.
    Merry on!

  9. List of X says:

    And what’s for sure, even if Santa considered delivering his presents by UPS, that’s not gonna happen after this Christmas’ delivery fiasco.

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