Based on what we know about reindeer and science, we think that Santa would have to have a state-of-art training facility in order to get reindeer ready for the rigors of flight. A simple, idyllic barn in the middle of the Arctic would make an ideal facility for such activities.
A comfortably large stable would have enough room to provide fatigued reindeer with a place to sleep as well as contain equipment such as flight simulators, treadmills and steering practice platforms. Specially trained elves would be on-site to take care of the reindeer and guide them through their training exercises.
This is also where the elves would make any repairs or additions to Santa's sleigh when he needs a little something extra. The runners on the bottom of the sleigh, for example, would need to be examined pretty frequently. Since Santa lands on so many roofs on Christmas Eve, the elves would need to make sure the sleigh's landing equipment can handle a few scratches and dents.
And if Santa should need an immediate Christmas Eve repair, the head elf technician could climb through the transdimensional present compartment and fix the sleigh in mid-flight. We'd like to think that Santa has been greatly influenced by NASCAR, and that this procedure works very much like a NASCAR pit-stop.
Without his sleigh, Santa would have a tough time getting airborne the night before Christmas. Fortunately, elves, reindeer and technology could all be available for help, keeping St. Nick as jolly as possible.
Milk and cookies could help, too, of course. So don't forget to put those out.
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More Great Links
- Adam, David. "Scientist gives Rudolph wings." Dec. 17, 2003. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1108503,00.html
- Swartz, B.K."The origin of American Christmas myth and custom." http://www.bsu.edu/web/01bkswartz/xmaspub.html
- Steigerwald, Bill. "New and improved antimatter spaceship for Mars missions." http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2006/antimatter_spaceship.html
- "Caribou & reindeer." http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/html/caribou_reindeer.html
- "How does NORAD track Santa?" http://www.noradsanta.org/en/how_we_do_it.php
- "Reindeer/caribou." http://www.nps.gov/archive/bela/html/rangifer.htm
- "The Claus that refreshes." March 2007. http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/santa.asp