Children unravel mysteries of Santa Claus

December 18, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Santa Claus, the elves and his reindeer are busily putting on the finishing touches of what is sure to be an exciting holiday season.

He’s been hard at work making toys, reading his mail and recording last-minute Christmas wishes from Issaquah boys and girls at the Cougar Mountain Zoo, Issaquah Commons and Gilman Village.

But while Santa Claus is checking his list just one more time before he departs on a whirlwind tour of the world on Dec. 24, Issaquah kids are putting forth their best guesses as to how exactly the big man in red is able to do it all.

Liam Heide

How does Santa get down the chimney?

It’s no secret that Santa is a big fan of milk and cookies, much to the chagrin of a watchful Mrs. Claus, but the jolly old man is still able to slide down billions of chimneys a year without so much as one misplaced brick.

From large brick chimneys to small, pipe-sized chimneys, Santa can get through them all. But just how does he do it?
“It’s easy,” said Brady Cykler, 4.

Santa simply coasts down the chimney like he would any other slide. But he added that a dab of butter might also help Santa squeeze into some less than ideal spaces.

Katelynne Cykler, 9, suggested that Santa has the magic touch, with powers to transform a chimney.

“Maybe when he touches the chimney, it widens for him, and then when he gets out of it, it goes back to skinny, the regular size,” she said.

Xander Gibbons, 4, thinks Santa might get a little assistance from nine of his closest friends — Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and, of course, Rudolph.

“He goes down the chimney and the reindeer help push him in,” he said.

How do reindeer fly?

Santa would not be able to travel anywhere without the guidance of his reindeer, especially the red-nosed one.

With a crew led by Rudolph himself, Santa is able to circle the globe in all sorts of weather and deliver gifts to every boy and girl. But just how do the lovable creatures get off the ground in the first place?

Jadyn Cykler, 6, attributes it to a bit of special Christmas magic.

“Maybe it’s a special pixie dust they use,” she said.

Xander Gibbons agrees that magic is involved, but it’s not pixie dust that does the trick.

“Reindeer fly with a magic potion,” he said.

Liam Heide, 4, said the secret to a reindeer’s flight can be found in the pellets that fall from the animals’ behind.

“Reindeer go poo poo and it makes them fly,” he said with a chuckle.

At the Cougar Mountain Zoo’s Reindeer Festival, kids learn that there is actually a science behind the reindeer’s flight.

“It all has to do with the aurora borealis,” said Robyn Barfoot, the zoo’s head elf, referring to the natural light show known as the northern lights.

During the aurora borealis, the reindeer sprout thousands of tiny wings that are invisible to the naked eye, but allow the animals to fly, Barfoot said.

How does Santa get around to everyone in just one day?

With so many kids to see and so many places to visit, it’s a wonder that Santa is able to get all the gifts delivered in just one day.

But all the credit for Santa’s timeliness should go to the ones pulling the sleigh, said Selma Kheriaty, 5.

“The reindeer go so fast that Santa’s able to get around to all of the little girls and boys around the world,” she said.

Sadie Kheriaty, 3, agreed.

“The reindeer fly super fast,” she said.

Jadyn Cykler chalks it up to just another example of the enchantment that surrounds everything that Santa does.

“Santa uses special magic and his reindeer to do it,” she said.

No matter how Santa and his crew are able to create the yearly masterpiece that is Christmas, there is one thing that all of the kids agreed on: It all takes just a little bit of magic.

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