How Does Santa Deliver Presents in One Night?

It’s an incredible feat to grasp when thinking about how Santa Claus delivers gifts all around the world in one night. How does he do it? Logistics and Supply Chain experts know it involves a little bit of magic and a whole lot of careful planning. Santa’s workshop is based at the North Pole for a very good reason: It is at the top of the world. That means that Santa can get to any side of the world very fast. The North Pole is in the northern hemisphere. That means Christmas starts in the north when the days are shorter and the nights are longer. This gives Santa more time to get ready. Part of what helps Santa Claus deliver toys to millions of homes all over the world in one night is that he knows who the good children are. There are two other parts to how Santa manages to get around so quickly. One is international time zones. The other part is speed.

How Does Santa Deliver Presents in One Night?

International Date-line and Time zones

A day consists of 24 hours. Countries on the left side of the planet have a different time than the countries on the right side of the planet. The world is divided into different time zones. This means that when it is nighttime for countries on the left side of the planet, it is still morning for the countries on the right side of the earth. On Christmas Eve, when the sun starts to go down, Santa leaves the North Pole and travels to the left side of the planet because it is nighttime. By working counter-clockwise Santa gives himself 42 hours to actually make all his Christmas day deliveries. Santa starts on the left side of the international date-line, beginning with Russia. Then, Santa goes backward around the world until he finishes his deliveries in Alaska.


If you have ever looked at the night sky when it is raining, you may have seen lightning bolts. They appear and disappear very quickly. That is why we say a flash of lightning. Flashing means being extremely quick and short. Santa is able to travel as quickly as a flash because his flying reindeer are faster than any airplane. They are so fast that they can’t be seen. With all the deliveries he has to make around the world, Santa has only 300 microseconds for each house. That is less than 1 second. Sometimes you might just feel a wind as they pass by. By the time you feel the wind, they are long gone. So, there really is no point staying up to try and spot Santa on his sleigh.

How children can help Santa

Good children actually help a lot by being well-behaved. Santa needs to know that well-behaved children are asleep in their beds and not waiting up for him because that would slow him down. If he is slowed down, he won’t make it in time to deliver presents to all the other good children, and that wouldn’t be fair. Santa has to deliver presents to over 500 million children around the world so please help him. Keep the yard and house neat and tidy so he doesn’t trip over your things. Leave a bowl or bucket of water near the front door in case the reindeers are thirsty. If they are, the bucket will be empty in the morning. Clean your bedroom, eat your vegetables, and go to bed on time. That will give moms and dads time to have a cup or three of their special Christmas coffee before they go to sleep. Merry Christmas!

Additional Reading:

Track Santa – NORAD Santa Tracker

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