Several years ago, The Atlantic published an article trying to calculate “Santa’s Christmas Eve Workload.” They came up with a “good list” of just over 526 million 14-and-under aged kids around the world who historically would be apt to “believe” in Santa Claus.
After running the numbers, they determined that on Christmas Eve, Santa would need to deliver presents to 365,000 kids every 60 seconds. That means that within every second, Santa would have to travel to 6,100 rooftops, climb down the chimneys, deliver presents, drink some milk, eat some cookies, climb back up the chimney, and get to the next rooftop.
No wonder “The Night Before Christmas” poem reads, “And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the racing and pawing of each little hoof.”
An article by the IEEE Central Virginia Section of engineers went a few additional “twinklings” further and pointed out more dramatic Santa miracles. If each child only received a medium sized Lego set, they calculated Santa’s bag of toys would weigh over 500,000 tons. They then figured out how big and strong Santa’s sleigh would have to be and how many reindeer he would actually need to pull it. A flight-less reindeer can pull 300 pounds on land, so they generously assumed a flying reindeer could pull 3,000 pounds. No doubt you’ve already done the calculations in your head, but to check your math, here is the answer: Santa would need 360,000 reindeer in order to pull a sleigh weighing 7 times more than the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship.
How’d you like that landing on your roof in the middle of the night? (Perhaps you should avoid telling this Santa story to children.)
At Christmas, we ponder the greatest miracle of all time — a miracle that makes Santa’s supposed feats seem rather silly. The Bible proclaims, “For a child is born to us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. And He will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). The meaning and implications of this message — that God became man in order to save us — is beyond our capacity to comprehend.
It takes faith.
Faith is our part of the Christmas miracle. You see, there is nothing we can do to add or take away from what God has already done. The miracle of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection has already taken place. The only thing He asks us to do is the only thing we can do: believe in Jesus.
That is the real Christmas miracle.