Written By: Chris Harden
Over the years, Santa has changed how he delivers presents to the good girls and boys of the world. Centuries ago, he started out on foot, then progressed to sled dogs, then to the very famous reindeer, which lasted him a few hundred years. But as the number of people in the world grew, Santa and his Elves began exploring new ways to reach everyone quickly. They eventually added jet packs to the sleigh, retired the reindeer, and even tried setting up distribution centers secretly hidden around the world, with a fleet of Elves making the deliveries. But that is all in the past. These days, Santa and his team of theoretical physicist Elves are using the forefront of modern science to pull off the greatest delivery scheme of all time. They use wormholes.
If you’d like to read about what wormholes are, here’s a good starting point. But in simple terms, Santa can bring to spots that are usually far apart, very close together. It’s all about getting certain things together and timing it just right, in those two spots. In Santa’s case, the first spot is his Workshop in the North Pole and the second spot is wherever children keep their presents. Now Santa doesn’t just make one wormhole, he has to make billions. A billion is a REALLY HUGE number, and there are billions of children all over the world. So Santa and his team of a few hundred thousand Elves have a Workshop that is many miles long and wide. They prepare a few billion wormholes to reach all these children quickly, because there are only a few hours when they can deliver the presents. But all that gets kind of boring. The more interesting part is how they make the wormholes.
It takes a ton of work to bend space and time. (That’s another way of saying “make two far away spots come together real close”.) And you have to work really hard. No one in the regular world has figured out how to do it, but sources say Santa’s method (explained here) uses the power of sugar, peppermint, and yummy treats. Every year, the day after Christmas, the Elves begin mixing a special, extremely large batch of peppermint candy, hot cocoa, and marshmallows. They make and freeze it all year long until they have enough for Christmas Eve. That night, at each station they set a cup of hot cocoa made with whole milk, 6 white mini marshmallows (no more, no less), on a three legged, wooden stool, that weighs exactly 2.1 lbs (no more, no less), and is painted with red paint. The stool must have the paint worn off of each of the three feet, and it must be leaning to the side a half inch. By the way, this can be easily accomplished by scooting the stool around on the floor once a day for 1 scoot, for the entire year. The Elves learned to skip a day on leap years, after finding a small amount of their deliveries ended up on the moon, because they had over-scooted by one day. This is a VERY precise business. Each stool has one reindeer hair taped to the stool underneath the hot cocoa mug. Oh and the cocoa must be precisely 140deg F (60 deg C).
Now with everything setup on Santa’s side, the next step is to identify what item will be used to bend space on the other side. After decades of study, the Elves figured out they could detect the presence of sugar down to a few inches. They could find it in cakes. They could find it in cookies. They could find it in candies. And they could find it in the kisses we give each other. Of course with all that has to be done, kisses wouldn’t work, because they come and go in a snap. But since most of the world puts cookies out for Santa, the hard part of finding the house is done. For those who forget to put out milk and cookies, Santa can find something yummy to use for the other side of his wormhole. In the early days, the Elves would accidentally pick gum drops, but they found that gum drops are WAY TOO sugary, which would lead to the wormholes going wonky and delivering gifts meant for China to children in Italy. It was quite a mess. But these days, the Sucrose Positioning System (SPS) is a finely tuned machine. The big sign that shows “Number of Years Since a Misplaced Gift” is well into the hundreds. In the days that lead up to Christmas Eve, the Elves are pinpointing exact sugar coordinates all around the world. Billions of them. The SPS is wired to each cup of hot cocoa for not only directing the worm holes (yes they can be controlled for the time needed to deliver a gift), but to dispense the next cup of hot cocoa as needed.
So on Christmas Eve, Santa coordinates as the Elves mark off their preparation checklist. Using his booming voice, he calls out down the miles of Elves standing at attention next to their worm hole stations. They reply:
- “Are the hundreds of thousands of hot cocoas on three legged stools in place?”-“CHECK!”
- “Are the sugar coordinates found for all the good children ready?”-“CHECK!”
- “Are the cases of candy canes ready at each station?” - “CHECK!”
- “Are the hot cocoa dispensers ready?” - “CHECK!”
- “Are the presents ready?” – “CHECK!”
- “SOUND OFF: Is EVERY Elf ready to open the Candy Cane Wormholes?” – “CHECK!”, “CHECK!”, “CHECK”… this can take a few hours. “…aaannnnddd CHECK!”
And so it is ready. Each year and precisely midnight, Santa calls out “3… 2... 1… Launch The Candy Canes!” At that point, at each of the hundreds of thousands of stations, a pair of Elves tag teams delivery of the children’s gifts for their region of the world. One hits a lever to dispense exactly one cup of hot cocoa with 6 marshmallows, drops a mini peppermint candy cane, precisely 3” tall and .15 ounces, into the cup of hot cocoa. The candy cane is the final object, combined with the cocoa, the marshmallows, the cup (which must be a ceramic single serving coffee cup, color doesn’t matter) and the red wooden stool, that causes a miraculous squishing of time and space. The candy cane instantly stretches into a long, red and white candy stripped straw from the Workshop into the child’s house. The wormhole opens up to the size of a doorway, and Elf number two places the gifts into the child’s house on the other side. And as instantly as the Candy Cane Worm hole was opened, it SNAPS shut! The hot cocoa mug is empty, the SPS finds the next good child on the list. Elf number 1 slaps the cocoa lever and drops in a new candy cane, starting the process all over again.
This goes on all night, all across Santa’s Workshop, into the latest hours of the morning, with Elves delivering gifts at lightning speeds, ending just before dawn. By morning, all the gifts are delivered, and Santa and all the Elves are in bed asleep, happy with another year of sharing Christmas joy.
Whether you choose to believe that reindeer still carry Santa from house to house, or that Santa has truly figured out wormhole physics, you’ll never look at a candy cane the same way again.
If you liked this story, please check out our story-driven science fun product TROBO. - Chris