Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is Santa Claus real?

Good question. Santa Claus is a popular Christmas legend. However, people have told so many stories about Santa Claus that over the years, it has become difficult to separate fact from fiction. Because of this, it's not just a "Yes or no" question: some of the legends might be true, and others might only be stories.

One thing we do know for sure is that the Santa you meet at the mall is not real. Malls hire actors to dress as Santa Claus. It's a show, similar to how you might go to see a play. (The littler kids don't know. I wouldn't tell them if I were you; it could spoil their fun.) Similarly, the Post Office can't really deliver letters to the North Pole, and the government can't really use radar to track Santa's sleigh. Furthermore, presents that seem to appear magically under the Christmas tree are, in most cases, secretly placed there by your parents. (True Christmas miracles may happen from time to time, but this is unusual.) These things are holiday traditions, and we do them because they're fun, just like it's fun to dress up and eat candy on Halloween or give out mushy cards and chocolates on Valentine's Day.

But that doesn't prove Santa Claus isn't real. After all, actors also play doctors and racecar drivers and police officers in movies and TV, and we certainly have real doctors, racecar drivers, and police officers.

The problem is that Santa Claus covers his tracks very well with his Christmas magic. If he can turn invisible and come and go by magic, how would we know if he exists or not? Scientists have tried to prove that Santa Claus doesn't exist, but so far all they've concluded is that he could only be real if he had magical powers—and in all the stories, he does have magical powers, so all the scientists can do is shrug.

The widely accepted theory among those who believe in the real Santa Claus is that he doesn't bring you toys—he brings you Christmas Cheer. That is, he sprinkles everything in Christmas magic that makes it more fun and exciting. You know that feeling you get when you wake up on Christmas morning and you just can't wait to open the presents under the tree? Some people say that's Santa Claus's magic. It would also explain why we can't drink eggnog all year, or leave up the decorations until July—the magic wears off. This theory answers some questions, but it's still difficult to prove, so we don't know for sure.

The short answer to your question, Anonymous, is maybe. We're pretty sure not all of the legends are true, but we can't prove he's not real, so who knows?

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