Whether you call him Santa, or Kris Kringle, or Saint Nick, or Father Christmas, the jolly old man who brings gifts to the children every Christmas Eve is everyone’s favorite senior role model. Santa has held the top spot in seasonal philanthropy for centuries. His main competition is himself, since he uses a few different names around the world. He’s made white hair, luxurious beards, and pants tucked into boots stylish, and not just for hipsters. And when it comes to red and white, he always wears it better. He’s iconic, he’s evergreen, and he’s coming to your town this month. Caregivers, home care aides and loved ones should get ready to learn all about everyone’s favorite senior icon, Santa Claus.

His Past Is An Open Scroll

He first splashed onto the scene in about 280 AD, when he was just a kind monk named Nicholas. Born into wealth in Turkey, he joined a monastery there, and made headlines for his kindness, piety, and generosity. He gave away all his money over the years, traveled around helping the poor and the sick, and was a shoo-in for sainthood on the first ballot. He changed his name to St. Nicholas and became the patron saint of children and sailors. His feast day is December 6th, which became a lucky day for big purchases, weddings, and other major life choices.

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Even as saints fell out of fashion during the Protestant Reformation, St. Nick stayed popular in Europe. In the late 1700’s, he re-branded himself in America with the Dutch as Sinter Klaas, giver of toys and fruits. His personal style was evolving as well, and the wood-carving paparazzi show him making bold fashion choices like red, blue and yellow, or just a big hat and jeggings (aka ‘huge Flemish hose’). As the decades passed, he teamed up with the big stores in New York, the newspapers, and artists like poet Clement Moore and cartoonist Thomas Nast. Between The Night Before Christmas and Nast’s images in Harper’s Weekly, the world came to know all about Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves and the workshop. His status as a style icon was set.

Miracles and Myths

In his early days, he attributed his ability to fly around the world in one night stopping at ‘each home’ to deliver gifts to the miracle of Christmas. Of course, he was able to skip the non-Christian chimneys, but that’s still a lot of real estate to cover. Today, satellites and science have taken a lot of the mystery out of our concept of the world. We ‘know’ there’s no workshop at the North Pole, and we know just how big and round the planet is. And we know just how many children there are in the world who expect a visit from him! There are more skeptics every year who think Santa Claus and his Christmas Eve ride are impossible. And if you think he’s just a portly guy with an ordinary sleigh, a brace of ‘flying’ reindeer and a serious cookie habit, then he is impossible.

The Science of Santa

But if you understand that Santa is the original Science Guy, then there’s an answer to all your questions. Here’s how Santa uses advanced technology to make his big night on the world stage happen:

  • The Naughty and Nice list? Excel spreadsheets and advanced algorithms that keep the Naughty and Nice fields updated real-time.
  • How can he possibly fly around the world in one night? The anti-matter engine on the sleigh allows him to travel faster than the speed of light. Christmas Eve can last as long as he needs it to last.
  • How does he find all the right homes? GPS technology that integrates with the Excel spreadsheets.
  • Flying reindeer? – Highly sophisticated robot drones with mag-lev capability
  • How does he fit all the toys on the sleigh? Mini-wormhole technology that connects the workshop to the sleigh’s cargo space. Just-in-time inventory allows the elves to make, wrap and ship each gift just as it’s ready to be dropped off.
  • Why doesn’t the workshop doesn’t appear on satellite images of the North Pole? String theory explains that Santa’s Workshop is located at the North Pole of an Earth that is right next to our Earth in the multiverse.
  • How can he possibly afford all those toys? Compound interest, Einstein’s eighth wonder of the world. He invested well in centuries ago and he can afford to be very generous.
  • Why can’t we see him on radar or with any tracking technology? The sleigh is coated in stealth paint, so when it is flying real-time on our universe, we can’t see it unless he wants us to see it.
  • Why the North Pole? According to Santa, he enjoys winter sports, he prefers to pay no taxes, and he likes his privacy.

Jolly Old St. Nick took on a mission to make the world’s children happy about 1700 years ago, and he’s built a very sophisticated organization around that mission. He is truly a role model for all of us, not just seniors.