Here are some interesting facts.
No known species of reindeer can fly. But with 300,000 species of living organisms (mostly insects and bacteria) yet to be classified, flying reindeer - which only Santa has seen - cannot be ruled out.
There are two billion children in the world. But since Santa doesn't appear to handle Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish children, his workload drops to only 378 million, or a mere 91.8 million homes averaging 3.5 children each, assuming that at least one has been good.
Thanks to time zones and the rotation of the earth, Santa's Christmas day lasts for 31 hours if he travels east to west, and visits 822.6 homes per second. This gives him 1/1000th of a second to park, race down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining gifts under the tree, eat the snacks, climb up the chimney and into the sleigh and fly to the next house. Assuming the houses are all the same distance apart - 0.78 miles - the total trip will be 75.5 million miles, plus bathroom stops.
So our jolly old friend is travelling at 650 miles per second, or 3,000 times the speed of sound. For comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle, the Ulysses space probe saunters along at a poky 27.4 mps and the average reindeer runs at 15 mph.
The sleigh's payload adds another factor to the equation. Assuming that each child's gift weighs only 2 pounds, the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, plus Santa, who is always depicted as obese. On land, conventional reindeer can only haul 300 pounds, so if a flying reindeer can pull ten times as much, eight or nine will not cope. We now need 214 000 of them, which adds another 353 430 tons to the weight.
Here's where it gets juicy (literally)...
675,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates massive air-resistance, like that of a space probe re-entering the atmosphere. Rudolph, who leads the pack, will face friction that generates 14.3 quintillion joules of energy. Per second! In fact he will explode instantaneously, exposing the next reindeer to the same experience. These explosions will cause deafening sonic booms as the whole team is vaporised in less than five thousandths of a second. Santa will also experience 17,500 G-forces, which will pin him to his seat with 4,315,000 pounds of pressure. This will unavoidably mean that the maiden flight of Santa's sleigh will also be his last.
Yes, there was a Santa, but now he's dead.