Operation: Santa Relocation

December 16, 2010

Given the new snow on the ground, and the fact that my face went numb after a brief sojourn outside, the idea of global warming seems almost appealing.

But no matter how preposterous the notion that things are getting warmer seems at present, I can’t deny its impact. The truly scary thing? We may be experiencing a “Maunder minimum,” a period of low solar activity. The most famous of those caused the “Little Ice Age” in the 18th century. Which means that the world may be even warmer than we thought; it’s just being masked by what should be a period of coldness.

Skating on the Thames: a Little Ice Age

Naturally, this has a significant impact on the operation and livelihood of one S. Claus.

Times were already getting tougher. Children want iPads and cell phones, not toy trucks and stuffed animals. Sure, elves’ nimble little fingers are pretty good with circuitry, but have you considered how much production costs have risen? It’s a lot more expensive to make an iTouch than a teddy bear.

Global warming only makes things worse, mainly because Santa will ultimately be forced to relocate his operations. The North Pole may be free of summer sea ice as early as 2030. Santa’s workshop and Christmas village will then be adrift in the Arctic Ocean. And that’s after a few years of rotten ice rendering roads and buildings unstable.

Where should Santa go? On the off-chance that he’s reading this, I’ve compiled a few suggestions.

The South Pole

The ice here is more stable, and lower levels of human activity should afford St. Nick some privacy. There’s also the poetic aspect of still living at one of the poles, and from a practical standpoint, he’d actually be much closer to his first stops on Christmas Eve: New Zealand and the Pacific islands. Of course, a thinner ozone layer means he’d have to load up on the sunscreen, but that seems like a small price to pay.

Northern Canada

Questions of Arctic sovereignty aside, the fact remains that Santa already has a Canadian postal code (H0H 0H0). That fact, combined with the relative closeness of the territories, would make it easier for Santa to set up shop a little further south. Somewhere like Alert, Nunavut could work- only 817 km from his present location, but situated on a solid island, rather than the icepack.


The Himalayas

Cold and private, which seem to be two important criteria. Depending on where he settled, it might be possible to dig a workshop out of the rock itself: sort of impregnable mountain fortress. Any Yeti in the region could be employed as part of his Christmas Team, and the mountains would provide good training for reindeer. The only thing to watch for is high altitude sickness. I doubt Santa would be as jolly after a bout of High Altitude Cerebral or Pulmonary Edema.


Know what’s cooler than having reindeer pull your sleigh? Having Siberian tigers pull it! Obviously, the reindeer would still be used on Christmas Eve, but a Siberian tiger-drawn sleigh could facilitate Santa’s day-to-day travels… and it would be so cool. Otherwise, Siberia’s temperatures are still absolutely freezing, and again, its location on the Eastern side of the world is convenient; Santa can work with the time zones much more easily.

Where Santa Shouldn’t Go

I’m not going to mention obvious places like “The Sahara!” or “Hawaii!” These are places that seem good at first glance, but would really be terribly impractical.

The Moon

Very cold, and very private. Perfect, right? Wrong. A round trip from the moon to the Earth takes almost a week. Santa’s busy enough as it is; such a long trip wouldn’t work logistically, nor would it be likely that Santa would physically be up to it. Besides which, the cost of building and maintaining his own space colony and manned spacecraft would be exorbitant. NASA no longer has the technology to send people to the moon (and once the shuttles retire in a few months, they’ll have no manned spacecraft at all), so they’d be no help.


If the ice cap melts, plunging Santa into the sea, why doesn’t he just stay there, and make an underwater base like Atlantis? Again, the costs of making a complex with adequate life support and resistance to the high pressure would be much higher than Santa can afford. Not to mention the dangers that exist that far down: psychological problems from confinement in such a small space, unpredictable currents, and the risk of the bends everytime Santa returns to the surface.

Cool idea... not so cool in reality



All the same issues as being underwater… plus, you  might be able to have Christmas Kelp, but I doubt Christmas Fungus would be as festive.

Personally, I think Santa should go to Antarctica. But we’ll see. If we can get our act together, maybe he won’t have to move at all.




  1. This is awesome! Too bad about the moon, though. I’ll be the sleight could easily hit warp 3.0.

    • Probably. You’d need to outfit the reindeer in pressure suits and helmets, though.

  2. What a fantastic post! I vote for the South Pole. Though I own 1700 acres on the moon and I’d be willing to let him use that ranch rent free if he could figure out the transportation/habitat issues.

  3. Fun post. Don’t worry about Santa, though.

    In light of our continued insanity in the face of grave climate change, he’s decided to retire to Bedlam. 😉

  4. Arvik,

    Go here: http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2082
    Enter this contest. Take second place. 😉

    — david j.

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