Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa representation question

In all the depictions of household encounters with Santa Claus that I can remember, he's depicted as flying in to the encounteree's house from some distant point and then, when he's finished distributing gifts, flies away again to some other distant point. This despite the fact that said encounteree's house is generally depicted as being in a neighborhood of other, similar houses.

Are we to believe that being selected for delivery of Santa gifts is thus a rare thing? Or does our encounteree live in a Jewish or Muslim neighborhood? Or just one full of bad boys and girls?

Or does Santa's distribution method simply defy all logic? Does he hit a house in London, make his next stop in Japan, then Canada, etc. all before hitting the next-door neighbor of our first encounteree in London? Just what is the method to his madness?

3 Comments:

At Saturday, December 20, 2008 at 8:12:00 PM PST, Blogger Kevin said...

Santa, WTF?

 
At Monday, December 22, 2008 at 1:24:00 PM PST, Blogger Ted said...

Brigid came up with a partial answer: Santa has to come when kids are asleep, so he might have to use a non-intuitive routing pattern to hit every house in an order where no kids at the house, or in the immediate vicinity, might see him.

This doesn't quite explain the always coming/going to and from "infinity" effects, though. And it doesn't solve the problem of what would happen if on some block there was always at least one kid awake.

 
At Tuesday, December 23, 2008 at 12:10:00 AM PST, Blogger clynne said...

The Santa Clause (a surprisingly non-awful movie, or maybe I was just PMSing and therefore maudlin when I watched it) says this is because Santa just goes to a not-entirely-random selection of homes each year. It also solves the chimney issue by having a magic fireplace-with-chimney appear at appropriate home-heating locations, like a radiator, which ISTR being at least one of the explanations put forth by Mom and Dad before the inevitable, "well, maybe he just uses the door, he's magic after all."

The same "not-quite-random but not everywhere" method is proposed in a Christmas-themed modern horror short story I recently read (probably in the new Charlaine Harris-edited compilation) to a less awesome than usually assumed effect.

 

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