1.His sleigh is probably the fastest vehicle ever made.

sleigh santa facts

Santa doesn’t get enough credit for the amount of work he does in just one night. It’s one thing to say he visits every boy and girl and leaves them gifts, but when you crunch the numbers, you start to realize what a staggering job that really is. There are roughly 2.1 billion children in the world, and an average of 2.5 children per household.

2.He’s only worn red since he started shilling for Coca-Cola.

coca cola sign

Santa’s had a wide range of colorful outfits over the years—green, brown, blue, and even tan—but it’s only been since 1931 that he’s known to wear primarily a red-and-white suit. It’s all thanks to the Coca-Cola company, which used Santa in the early 30s to sell Coke products, and of course dressed him in the brand’s trademark colors. It’s been that way ever since, and Santa continues to be one of the centerpiece of Coke’s holiday advertising campaign.

3.He was a bachelor for many years.

santa facts

Santa (or a version of Santa) has been around for centuries, and he’s been a part of American culture since at least the late 1700s. But it wasn’t until the mid-19th century before anybody bothered to wonder if Santa would ever give up his bachelor ways and settle down. His spouse was first revealed in an 1849 short story—”A Christmas Legend,” written by a Philadelphia missionary named James Rees—and Mrs. Claus soon became a regular presence in Christmas tales. But it wasn’t until 1889, in a poem called “Goody Santa Claus on a Sleigh Ride,” that she started to demand more of the holiday spotlight. “Why should you have all the glory of the joyous Christmas story?” she asks her hubbie.

4. All letters addressed to Santa in the United States go to the same post office.

Since around 1914, all letters addressed to Santa Claus go to the same place. No, not the North Pole; they end up at a small post office in Santa Claus, Indiana, where every letter with a return address will receive a reply, handwritten by the postmaster or one of his many “elf” volunteers. Pat Koch has carried on the tradition that began with his father, and his many helpers share his enthusiasm. “They’re writing a letter to us, and they’re wanting an answer back from Santa Claus,” Ed Rinehart, an elf at the Santa Claus post office, said in an interview. “So my job is to make sure that those letters get back in the mail to them.”

5.He eats way too much sugar.

chocolate chip cookies

Santa didn’t get a little round belly that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly from eating too much broccoli. No, Kris Kringle loves his sweets. And he has millions of kids across the globe encouraging his bad habits. If every household he visits leaves an average of two cookies for Santa, that means in a single evening, he consumes 374 billion calories, 33,000 tons of sugar, and 151,000 tons of fat. To burn off all of those empty calories, Santa would need to run for approximately 109,000 years. Good luck with that, Santa!