Our countdown now stands at 48 weeks until Christmas and THAT is the most important thing to know right now.
Ever since I started doing the weekly countdown here at SantaUpdate.com I started getting mail. This week I got a letter with a question that Elf Ernest told me was coming.
On New Year’s Eve, when Santa had the ceremony re-setting the launch countdown clock, Elf Ernest asked me if I had been “asked the question yet”. I had to ask him, “What question?”
Elf Ernest told me that sometime soon someone out there would send me a letter asking if Santa was going to work on Sunday this year. December 24th, Christmas Eve, lands on a Sunday this year and Elf Ernest says that’s “always a thing”.
You see, Santa famously avoids working on Sunday year-round. He makes every elf in every department take Sunday off, too.
Many think that is because of Santa’s religious beliefs, and that is partly true. But the truth is actually a lot more complicated.
Well, guess what? The question came this week from a little girl in Scotland.
She’s very worried. She knows that Sunday is a day off for Santa usually and this year Christmas Eve is on a Sunday and she’s worried Santa is going to wait and come later or, worse yet, just not come at all.
“Last year your updates posted to SantaUpdate.com on Saturdays,” her letter said. “But this year they appear on Sundays. That’s because it is a Santa Update tied to the countdown”.
Well, she’s right about that.
But there’s one thing she is not thinking about. And I need to talk about it because I’m getting more letters like hers every day now. Elf Ernest was right: this is a thing.
Here’s the first thing to understand: we keep the countdown for the North Pole. We share it with the world. The countdown is a very super-duper-critical thing for those of us who work for Santa.
The countdown is much more than just a marker of how much time left we have to do the job. The countdown is also the way we know what is going on in the world.
I know what you’re saying after reading that sentence. “Huh?”
You see, right now, wherever you are, it is a certain time. You can look at a clock or a calendar and see that it is a particular day at a particular hour. We cannot do that at the North Pole. We do not have time. That is why we need countdowns.
Take a look at a globe. If you stick your finger at any point on that globe EXCEPT the North Pole you can tell what time it is in that place.
There are time zones and datelines to indicate that and using the markings on the globe you can discover what time it is in Brazil versus what time it is in, say, Japan – and it will be different.
But, if you slide your finger from any point UP to the North Pole all that goes away.
If it is noon on Tuesday in Brazil what time is it at the North Pole? If it is midnight in Iceland on a Saturday, what then is it at the North Pole?
There is no answer to that question because all the lines and markings of time on a globe end at the top – where they all come together. There is no time here at the North Pole.
So we – and Santa – have to use time differently. We use the time of the world and according to the time of the world today marks exactly 48 weeks until Christmas. If it were not for YOU Santa would not even know when to launch.
Now, I know this is confusing. I have talked to several elves about how to explain this well. It was Elf Ed Zachary who helped me the most.
“You’re wasting your time,” Elf Ed Zachary laughed. “Kids have a hard time understanding it but adults especially get goofy about it.”
Elf Ed Zachary pointed me to an article he wrote decades ago that is still online and still brings him mail. He said hardly a day goes by where someone does not send him a question about it.
You can read it. I did and I’ve decided that Elf Ed Zachary is right. There is no way I can make this easy.
So, let’s just say this:
Christmas Eve is on a Sunday this year. Santa is coming, as he always does. Keep your eye on our countdowns.
I write a weekly update that is posted every Sunday. Elf Ernest posts a monthly update every 24th day of the month. Elf Harold Star write the news any time that it breaks.
We are all counting down to when Santa launches because – Santa is coming.
Santa is coming no matter what time it is where you are.
Yes, we still take one day off in seven at the North Pole. Santa has said that day is Sunday. And yes, that is partly a religious thing for Santa because Santa is a religious man.
But it does not mean Santa is not coming on Sunday, December 24th where you are.
Whew. Got it?
Hi, Elf Trixie! Thank you for sharing this. I think this is a profound story. I thought Santa would come if that day was Christmas Eve. I hope Santa and the elves have a compensatory holiday. Please stay warm and safe. See you soon! XD
I’m glad to hear that Santa’s faith is important to him like mine is to me. I’m a bit confused as to how the North Pole uses our time in order to keep track of their own (for example, how do you know when Sunday is so you can take off work? Which time zone is used to determine the date?). Nonetheless, I appreciate yours and Elf Ed Zachary’s information about time (or lack thereof) over there!