With the Thanksgiving holiday in the “rear-view” mirror, numerous Americans emphasis their fist on finish of the year celebrations. And also the most famous symbol of secular delight is Santa Claus. Numerous cultures memory a generous gift-giving spirit. In the unified States, the goes by the name Santa Claus and also is soon recognizable in his red suit v white trim, red cap v white trim, black boots, white face hair, and wide smile. I must mention, there are regional variations ~ above this theme. In Hawai`i, because that example, Santa wears an aloha shirt and surfs. 

Santa is a chubby, jolly elf as tall together the mean man. That keeps a list of good girls and boys. If you think around the list, the ide is fairly creepy. As the song says: He to know if you’ve been bad, or good. Anyway, Santa bring a toy to good children. That’s A TOY, together in one.

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In the above Normal Rockwell illustration native 1922, Santa watch a bit various from the conventional description. That looks tired, instead of jolly. And also the elves swarm over your dozing boss favor mice as they include finishing touches to a toy house, and also prepare Santa’s bag to it is in filled. Ever wonder exactly how the elves cram playthings for youngsters all end the civilization into what looks like a tiny red bag. Magic!

How large is Santa’s compound on the phibìc Pole?

Even though Santa only provides one toy to each great child, it is still a lot of toys. Santa lives and also works at the phibìc Pole, whereby he has living quarters, workshops, warehouses, and also a big labor force of elves. Traditionally, these employees dress in red or green clothing, wear sharp hats and also have large, sharp ears. There are seven elves in Rockwell’s illustration, however Santa demands thousands of elves to obtain the playthings made. Santa Tracker estimates Santa employs around 110,000 elves.


With so numerous elves, Santa’s north Pole is a liven place. In 2015 Granite geek David Brooks did part computations and came up v some amazing figures. At the time, if Santa offered each an excellent child a toy, his workshop required to create 1.2 exchange rate toys. Brooks estimated that if the elves worked a 40-hour week because that 50 main a year, every elf would work-related 2,000 hours per year to develop 600,000 presents every hour.

In order to carry out each elf v two square feet of workspace, the workshop would take up 1.2 million square feet. That course, there can be smaller sized workshops, rather than one huge workshop.

But, the elves can’t simply leave playthings scattered top top the shop floor. They need to put castle in a warehouse. According to Brooks, if every toy takes increase 1 cubic foot that space, Santa requirements a warehouse v 1.2 billion cubic feet. If Santa’s warehouse is 20 feet tall, that would still be just 60 million square feet.

Brooks estimated that the warehouse and also workshop alone would certainly take increase 61.2 million square feet i m sorry is around 2.2 square miles. This doesn’t incorporate living quarters for Santa and also the elves or stables for the reindeer.



In the mid-19th century, americans concluded Santa live on the phibìc Pole, partly due to the fact that no one had any kind of idea what the phibìc Pole looked like. Publicity about expeditions looking for the Northwest passage didn’t sell much information other 보다 cold and snow. So world thought the north Pole to be a somewhat logical place for Santa, reindeer and lots that elves v plenty that room because that expansion.


Santa’s reindeer are more than likely R. Tarandus Platyrhynchus, the the smallest sub-species. In his city A Visit indigenous St. Nicholas, poet Clement Moore mentioned eight small reindeer named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and also Blitzen. Clearly, once naming reindeer, one need to be precise.

There is some confusion ~ above the issue of reindeer gender. Illustrations depict Santa’s reindeer through a full rack antlers, and also the presumption is they should be male. No so. Older males lose their antlers in December. The females, ~ above the other hand, thrive their antlers in the summer and keep them all year. Which means … one of two people Santa’s reindeer space female or he needs to keep recruiting younger males who preserve their antlers at the very least until Santa completes his rounds.

Santa’s Sartorial Flair

So the next question is, just how do we understand what Santa looks like. Moore described Santa as a jolly old elf. Yet elves space small.


Between 1862 and also 1886, cutting board Nast developed 33 drawings of Santa Claus. End the years, Santa obtained weight, grew a beard, and also started cigarette smoking a pipe. Yet despite Nast’s top portrait, prior to 1931, Santa short a consistent image. He might be tall or short, chubby or thin


In 1931 Coca-Cola rental Haddon Sundblom to paint the real Santa Claus together a method to appeal to children. Besides, everyone deserves a be safe beverage throughout the Christmas Season. Sundblom modeled Santa after one of his friends, and drew a chubby, human-sized, happy male with rose cheeks, laugh lines, twinkly eyes, and also a white beard wearing the now-famous red suit with white trim.

I don’t have a picture of Santa drink a Coke, but if you’ve obtained a minute to check out this Coca-Cola advertisement from 1995, you have the right to see Sundblom’s renowned pictures on the sides of glowing red shipment vans. In part ways, Coca-Cola is as renowned as Santa.


Norman Rockwell. Santa through his Elves. 1922.

The Workshop of Santa Claus. Godey’s Lady’s Book. 1873.

Couple in Sled pulled by Reindeer. Nome, AL. Early 20th century.

Santa Clause and his Reindeer. 1870.

Merry Old Santa Claus by thomas Nast, 1881.

Life and also Adventures the Santa Claus by L.Frank Baum.

“Did Coca-Cola develop Santa Claus?” Coca-Cola Company.

Peter Biello. “Granite Geek: How large is Santa’s Workshop?” New Hampshire public Radio. Dec. 24, 2015.

Erin Block. “How the phibìc Pole became component of Santa’s Story.” Mashable. Dec. 20, 2015.

Jill Harness. “11 things You might not Know about Reindeer.” Mental Floss. Dec. 7, 2015.


Sandra’s latest book, Saxon Heroines: A Northumbrian Novel, is available in eBook and print editions in ~ Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play and Kobo. She previous publications Two Coins: A Biographical Novel and Rama’s Labyrinth: A Biographical Novel are accessible in print and eBook editions in ~ Amazon, Barnes & Noble, apple Books, Google Play and also Kobo, and in audiobook editions at Amazon, Nook, Audible, apologize Books, and Kobo. Two Coins is narrated by Deepti Gupta and noah Michael Levine. Rama’s Labyrinth is narrated by Deepti Gupta.

Sandra blogs weekly around topics regarded her travels, composing life, and the incongruities the life in general.

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