Americans spend 1.2 billion dollars on Xmas trees. To provide these trees, 15,000 companies plant 450,000 acres with 2000 trees per acre for six to ten years, totalling 73 million trees, 28.6 million of which survive to be sold at an average cost of $40. Speed is so urgent in the harvest/market time that in the Pacific Northwest, 70% of the trees are transported to trucks by helicopter. As for artificial trees, 9.3 million are sold annually in America, 85% of which are manufactured in China, averaging $67 each. At the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich researchers are investigating genetic manipulations that would make trees glow with shades of red, green and blue.
In the 48 hours that Santa Claus technically has to deliver Xmas presents worldwide, he must visit an estimated 2.5 billion homes -- remember that he must visit naughty children too, and leave a lump of coal. Pagan, atheist and non-Christian children such as Jews and Moslems must be counted as naughty. For all this, Santa has only 34 microseconds available for each stop. To arrive at his destinations he must average 3604 miles per second, nearly two percent the speed of light. Einsteinian relativity is only a minor factor at these speeds, far too slight to explain the feat, and in any event problematic. Calculations by physicist Roger Penrose have suggested that in a universe where there are black holes, retrograde time travel is impossible, which closes another theoretical explanation. Perhaps the answer will be found at the quantum level.
I think that covers everything important. I haven't missed anything, have I? Nothing left out? No, of course not.
Merry Xmas, then.