Santa is problematic in some ways. His lack of adaptation to the modern era is of concern, so in my last letter to him, I asked why he uses a sleigh and reindeer instead of updating to at least a helicopter. His tart reply suggested that I think in terms of tradition and colorful imagery in this case more than flight technology. “Besides,” he said, “the secret has always been magic anyway. What sleigh flies, even with eight reindeer?” He had me on that one.
At least writing him is easier than ever since he emails, and our exchange is rapid fire and not dependent upon the postal system. So I asked him why he goes down chimneys when there might be a fire going. After all, most of history wasn’t blessed with the heating systems in houses now that make fireplaces mostly for ambience. Here again, though scientific facts defy someone entering a house down a chimney while a fire is going, his answer was simple: “I have a 60 second spray that makes me temporarily immune to flames and heat, and always have.” What could I say?
Then too, though Santa is corpulent to a diabetes-threatening degree, he survives every era and almost flaunts the advice of every health tip column ever written. I asked how he can keep his weight under 400 pounds with the decadent amount of cookies he eats. He had an answer for that too: “I only eat cookies in that amount one day a year. It’s a free day, you know. Everybody gets a free day, right?”
I only had the energy for one more question. How is it that the sleigh and also those reindeer feet can make landings soft enough to avoid waking the children? Santa doesn’t miss a trick. “The North Pole has an RD department which long ago developed a hover technology,” he said. I wondered if this too is magic. “Of course it’s all magic, Brian, you seem a bit slow catching onto that. Merry Christmas!”