You better watch out. Santa Claus is coming to town. He knows all about you. He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows when you’ve been bad or good. Somehow, this sounds a little creepy. Like a stalker. He even keeps a list and checks it twice to find out if you’ve been naughty or nice. Not only that, but he breaks and enters your home while you are asleep by climbing down your chimney, and he eats your cookies.

I suppose he can get away with activities that would be considered disturbing or possibly even illegal because he gives you presents. Plus, he is a jolly old elf who runs around saying, “Ho, ho, ho.” But from watching the reaction of some of the children forced to sit on the lap of a red-suited, strange old man with a beard, I think some of them would just as soon he leaves the toys and keeps his distance. I just received a Christmas card from a friend who sent a picture of her two children on Santa’s lap, and they did not look happy.

Still, the magic of believing in Santa is a precious tradition for many children, as well as a not-so-subtle way for parents to keep children on their best behavior during the few weeks before Christmas. As far as I know, my two sons, ages twenty-eight and sixteen, still believe in Santa, as I told them when they stopped believing, they would get underwear for Christmas. Alas, I was only five years old when I figured the whole Santa business couldn’t possibly be for real, and I suffered as the only unbelieving child in my kindergarten class. Not only that, but I never bought off on the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy, either.  So, I had a deprived childhood.

Here are some fun facts about Santa that you might not know:

  1. The government of the United States issued Santa a pilot’s license in 1927.
  2. The Canadian government gave citizenship to Santa, as well as the official postal code, HOH OHO.
  3. In 1961, a little girl wrote a letter to JFK because she was worried about Santa after nuclear testing by the Soviets at the North Pole.
  4. The postal code 99999 is reserved for Santa in Finland.
  5. Ohio will not allow any advertising for liquor featuring Santa. However, in Austria and Britain, beer and sherry are left for Santa. (Hmm, wonder how that might affect his pilot’s license in the US. Can he fly under the influence?)
  6. Santa must travel 2,180 miles per second to reach everyone on Christmas Eve.
  7. If Santa’s sleigh carried enough toys for all the children in the world, it would weigh over 400,000 tons, which would require more than 360,000 reindeer. (Oh, come on, where’s the magic?)
  8. If each household in the world left two cookies for Santa, he would consume 374 billion calories. (No wonder he has a round belly.)
  9. All letters to Santa in the US go to Santa Claus, Indiana.
  10. In Colorado, there is a Santa Claus university that teaches people how to become professional Santas. (What? I thought there was only ONE!)
  11. A man legally named Santa Claus was elected to a city council in North Pole, Alaska.

Hope these trivial facts gave you a Ho Ho Ho!