Shengdan Laoren is on his way. Which is what the Chinese call Father Christmas, which is what the English call Papa Noel, which is what the Peruvians call—well, you know, Santa Claus. If you are counting the days to Christmas, you might want, also, to know Santa by the numbers.
2 Number of times Santa checks his list.
9 Number of Santa’s reindeer.
0 Number of Santa’s reindeer who are male. (Male reindeer drop their antlers in early December.)
50 Number of years the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has been tracking Santa on Christmas Eve (now at www.noradsanta.org).
73 Number of years Santa Claus has been wearing a red suit.
500,000 Number of letters children send to Santa Claus each year at the North Pole Post Office.
500,000 Number of e-mails children send to Santa Claus each year at www.emailsanta.com.
2,219 Population of Santa Claus, Ind. 415 Population of Rudolf, Wis.
31 Number of hours available to Santa Claus to deliver his presents, thanks to the time zones and the rotation of the Earth (assuming he is heading west).
91,800,000 Estimated number of homes Santa Claus visits.
877-840-0459 The number to call for Operation Santa Claus, whose participants help Santa by obtaining letters from children whose families don’t have much money and sending them a gift or two on Christmas. (Or check with your local post office to see if it is participating.)
Zay N. Smith