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3 Explanations of Christmas Phenomena That Ruin The Fun

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Look upon the face of the childhood you are destroying!

Look upon the face of the childhood you are destroying!

100_0672 Luis Prada
Luis Prada’s a columnist for Cracked, and his work can also be found...
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by Luis Prada

Christmas is all about the kids. Parents may go overboard and plaster their homes in enough lights to make the DEA think their power consumption is actually a front for a marijuana grow-house, but it’s all for kids; Santa, the tree, reindeer – all for kids. If you’re an adult without kids and you place a wrapped gift under the bright tree for your significant other, you’re doing it because it makes them feel like a kid again. It’s all about kids, and it’s all about the magic of the season. Not real magic, of course. But that fake magic that makes us feel young and carefree.

Science and math are also pretty cool, but they have no business getting involved in Christmas. When it comes to Christmas, science and math are the guys at the party who hop from one conversation to another correcting grammar and fact checking everyone’s claims and generally acting like overly-informed jackasses. Sadly, every Christmas there’s at least one story from the world of math and science that flat-out ruins the pure joy of Christmas by attempting to bring some kind of rationality and logic to the concept of a fat guy being dragged around THROUGH THE SKY by a subspecies of magic deer.

Santa’s Speed

Did you know that in order for Santa to make it to every home on time, he’d have to be traveling at speeds that would instantly incinerate him and instantly cook his reindeer, thus raining down deer steaks and large chunks of bubbling human fat upon the children of the world? You probably never once gave this a nanosecond of thought because you try not to destroy dreams and innocence. But someone did, and that someone was some guy named Tim over at The Telegraph.

Only TWO magical reindeer? It's obvious Santa would need at least another 4.734 reindeer!

Only TWO magical reindeer? It’s obvious Santa would need at least another 4.734 reindeer!

According to Tim, Santa would need to travel at the insane speed of 510,000,000km (316,899,308.0410403 Miles per Hour) to make every child on earth happy. To put this in perspective, Halley’s Comet, at its fastest, moves at around 360,000 km/hr. Santa moves faster than space rock.

How does this help our love for Santa? If this is a holiday for kids, and kids are least optimal demographic for dull explanations of the distance traveled by a flying sleigh, then is this for jaded adults who just want even more evidence that everything’s bullsh*t?

Yes. Yes, it is.

How Long It Would Take Santa To Deliver All Gifts

Do you know who you never want to chime in with their opinion of Santa? Anyone who can be introduced as “professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at…”. Sadly, it’s already happened, and the owner of one such title is Larry Silverberg…wait for it…a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University.

"I live my life a quarter-mile at a time..."

“I live my life a quarter-mile at a time…”

This buzzkill and his equally buzzkill-y students (who probably show up to college parties and lecture about the fluid dynamics of a chugged beer) tried to figure out how long it would take for Santa to deliver his whole load of gifts, because they couldn’t just leave it at “sometime between going to sleep and waking up.” They had to bring numbers and sh*t into it, and then present this information to someone so it could be published, so those of us who just want to be able to like a thing for its surface-level value can growl at it like a dog who can sense your friendly neighbor is actually a murderer.

Like The Telegraph’s Tim, Larry and his students first figured out how fast Santa’s sleigh would be traveling, and they settled on 5,083,000 mph, which is quite a ways away from Tim’s 316,899,308 mph. With the speed in place, Larry then made an absolutely absurd claim – it would take Santa six “Santa months” to deliver all his presents. The explanation of a Santa month is even more infuriating than the initial quest to spoil Christmas with math and science. They figure Santa would use what they call relativity clouds – a concept based on the field of relative physics – which would allow Santa to stretch time at will. So while he may not leave his North Pole command center until the stroke of midnight on Christmas morning, Santa would actually be spending six months putting gifts under trees. And that six-month span would only seem like 8 or 9 hours to the rest of us. Santa months!

What a crock of anti-whimsical sh*t.

Mathematical Formula for Perfectly Decorated Tree

So now that Santa has been ruined, let us turn our attention to the Christmas tree, because those pine-smelling bastards have gotten it too easy for far too long.

In an overly-complicated attempt to quantify such things as beauty, personal taste, personal style, and family tradition, mathematicians at the University of Sheffield came up with formula you can use to perfectly decorate your tree.

Here’s the formula for you to look over…

formulaslarge 3 Explanations of Christmas Phenomena That Ruin The Fun

Credit: University of Sheffield

Imagine you’re surrounded by loved ones. You’ve taken your ornaments and lights out of storage and you’re all ready to start making your tree look beautiful. But then, you break out a calculator and measuring tape and tell everyone to put their Christmas cheer on hold for a couple minutes as you crunch some numbers. If you didn’t get a series of groans and a couple of “F*ck yous,” they probably still happened and your Grinch-itude prevented your ears from hearing any of it. So, you solider on undeterred, continuing to deduce exactly how your tree should be decorated instead of feeling it out like every other human. Within minutes after you start decorating you will find yourself alone and possibly crying after everyone became fed up with being told that adding the one ornament would make the tree “ugly” and “mathematically imperfect.


Luis Prada’s work can be found on Cracked, FunnyCrave, The Smoking Jacket, and GuySpeed. If you visit his Tumblr page, The Devil Wears Me, he will give you a non-refundable virtual hug.

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