Tuesday 7th December 2021
(Answers at the bottom of the page)
When you think about it, it’s a remarkable story, that every year on Christmas Eve, Santa Claus delivers gifts to all the children around the world, travelling on a sleigh pulled by magic, flying reindeer.
What’s remarkable about the story isn’t the many ways in which it goes beyond the edges of science, even with supersonic reindeer, but in the consistency with which we tell it. It’s remarkable that grown up people all around the world can not only easily recite the story, but we even know the names of his fictional reindeer. (There was a spoiler alert!)
That consistency is part of the proof we offer to children to persuade them he is real. If we each had a slightly different version of the story, then children would compare notes and we’d be rumbled.
What evidence do we offer children to prove that Santa exists?
- They see him in movies, TV commercials, posters, products, books and magazines. He looks exactly the same every time - red coat and hat, white trim, black belt and boots - thanks Coca-Cola!
- We sing songs about him.
- We take them to actually meet the guy!
- If they realise the Santa they just met is a person in a costume, we are ready with tales about how busy the real Santa is.
- They write to him and tell him which toy they wish for as a gift... and then it appears!
- But the main reason they believe he exists is simply because we say he does, and we all say it. All the grown ups tell the same story to all the children. We have an unwritten social code that says it’s not okay for us to tell anyone else’s child that Santa doesn’t exist.
Answer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen (and Rudolph).