Parents used to have it pretty easy when it came to explaining Santa: it's all Christmas miracles and magic. But these days, kids are too cynical and too worldly (and have access to too much Google) to fall for that old timey "Christmas is magic" bullshit. And you better bring your A game, because today's kids are pretty wary of letting elderly men sneak around their homes in the middle of night, especially if he's got presents.
STRANGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER!
Don't worry. Science, and Cracked, has got your back. When kids come up to you and ask those difficult Santa-related questions, here are a few totally plausible answers to placate them.
"So," little Timmy says, "how in the hell does one man keep tabs on the actions of every kid, in every part of the world, all year?"
There are literally billions of kids on the planet, and we're expected to believe that Santa not only keeps track of every last one of them at all times, but smites the bad ones with 19th century train fuel while showering the good kids with free shit?
Does this mean Santa is responsible for the Copiapo mining disaster? We're going with, "Yes."
So How Does Santa Do it?
Oh, children. Have you never heard of the NSA? You see, Santa has a surveillance system rivaling our worst Orwellian nightmares at his disposal. All of the technology needed to observe your every action with impunity very much exists, and you can bet the farm he's employing it to keep track of children like you at this very moment.
If you are a regular Cracked reader, you probably already know that super-spy technologies aren't just future talk, but are terrifyingly real. From flying surveillance robots to prototypes of mind reading computers, Santa probably has access to all of them.
He even knows where you buried that hobo.
Of course he couldn't keep every good and bad little boy and girl in the world on a physical "list" that he checks twice. That's what databases are for. When you backtalk your Mom over a cell phone, or spout racism over Xbox Live, Santa's network captures it. He has Naughty/Nice algorithms that run 24 hours a day to track precisely the moment you fall out of one category and into another. There are even supercomputers right now that can predict how likely you are to misbehave in the future. Santa's version can probably start assembling a likely "Nice" list by early spring.
So you see, children, scientists have been perfecting the art of watching people without their knowledge for decades. And as we are about to see, Santa is clearly ahead of the curve technologically, so who knows what kind of scary shit he has in store for this next generation of kids?
SURRENDER YOUR MIND TO SANT-AI!
We know what you're thinking, kids. We live in an age of this:
That is a Russian Antonov An-225 with a space shuttle on its back. This is the biggest flying thing carrying the biggest thing it can in the air, and even that wouldn't be anywhere close to big enough to carry presents for 2.1 billion people. So how in the world is a stupid little flying sleigh going to manage?.
So How Does Santa Do it?
Oh, you naive children. See, we want to introduce you to a little thing called nanotechnology, which is what makes Santa's "magic sack" possible. Scientists would have you believe that this technique of manufacturing goods atom-by-atom on a microscopic level is in its early stages, but trust us, this is totally a thing and has been in the works for a while now.
Santa also upgrades his "reindeer" pretty regularly.
Since all things, whether made of gold or Styrofoam, are really just made of atoms, and since atoms are everywhere, it's entirely possible to make toys and video games seemingly appear out of thin air. So as this Physorg.com article explains, clearly Santa's bag is a nanotech factory that can spontaneously build your gifts on the fly. It's the only explanation that makes sense.
The next-most plausible explanation involves some sort of alliance with the leprechauns.
Santa likely uses soot and candy canes as base materials, which would then be broken down into their base elements and then restructured as Transformers, My Little Ponies and Xboxes (note: Santa also owns a licensing empire).
Experts say that in order for the nano-present assembly sack to work, Santa merely needs to apply electromagnetic fields to reverse "irreversible" thermodynamic properties. In English, it means it can rip apart matter, rearrange it and put it back together into stable molecules in order to build the presents for all the good little girls and boys.
Santa tears apart dead matter to build new life. Life that is loyal only to him.
Kids, we understand that the image of an obese guy being dragged around the world by flying ungulates is a pretty tough pill to swallow, believability-wise. Even having solved the cargo problems, you have the fact that the only flying mammals are bats and the fact that Santa has a shitload of houses to visit.
Even tweaking his face off, that's a lot of houses.
So How Does Santa Do it?
For starters, experts point out that Santa could use an antimatter engine to power his sleigh.
Source: How Stuff Works.
Even now, NASA is hard at work making antimatter-powered travel a reality and by the time NASA gets to it, you know Santa has had it forever. Here's how it works: Everything that matter does, antimatter does oppositely. An antimatter particle, for example, has the same mass as its counterpart, but reversed electrical charges. So when matter and its antimatter doppelganger collide, both particles are destroyed and a explosion of energy erupts in their place. That energy is traveling faster than the speed of light.
Santa-tech may soon power our interstellar space-dongs.
So, theoretically, a sleigh powered by antimatter would be fast enough to get Santa around the world in a night.
Now, as little Timmy is no doubt pointing out, the problem is that the energy created by the engine would be pure radiation and would kill Santa dead. But that's not an issue if Santa is using an ion shield to protect himself and his reindeer. Scientists have developed "mini magnetospheres" that mimic the outer reaches of our atmosphere, which would keep our astronauts from absorbing gene-murdering levels of cosmic radiation.
The Magnetosphere: How Planets Get Jiggy With It.
Which is important, because cosmic rays are no joke; outside the comic book world, too much exposure would be less Fantastic 4 and more "cancer riddled heap of awful." And we don't want that for Santa.
But experts warn we shouldn't discount the idea that Santa is manipulating space/time, having abandoned anti-matter way back in the Scrooge days. For instance he could have mastered the ability to carry around a small black hole with him to quantum teleport anywhere on earth in an instant. The use of a black hole may actually allow him to move through space and time, which would mean he could simply "reuse" the same chunk of time over and over until the work was done.
Much like your lucky underpants.
This would explain the need for cookies and milk at every house, since it would literally be days of hard, backbreaking work for Santa while everyone else slept.