How old is Santa? Can I call him? Where do I write him? Some questions about Santa answered

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 4:47 PM
Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2017 @ 8:01 AM

A History of Santa

There are plenty of mysteries surrounding Santa Claus and just how he manages to make that round-the-world trip in one night. 

While part of the joy of Christmas is believing in the magic an act of kindness can bring, that doesn’t stop millions from asking the tough questions about Claus, those reindeer and how he gets down a chimney when he, shall we say, is carrying a little bit of extra weight.

Here are a few of the most asked questions about Santa and the answers you can find online. 

How old is Santa?

Saint Nicholas was born in 270 AD. That would make him 1,747 years old.

Where is Santa?

Santa is getting ready for his round-the-world trip. He’s at the North Pole. On Christmas Eve, Google and NORAD both track Santa’s trip around the world. Click here to follow along.

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 2: Christmas decorations are seen in the East Room during a press preview of the White House Christmas decorations December 2, 2004 in Washington, DC. The White House 2004 holiday theme is, "A Season of Merriment and Melody." (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

How many reindeer does Santa have?

According to legend, Santa has eight reindeer – Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder and Blixem. The names Dunder and Blixem are derive from Dutch words for thunder and lightning. They were later changed to Donner and Blitzen.

The names and the number of reindeer came from the 1823 poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas.” A ninth reindeer, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, was added to the list as the popularity of the 1939 story “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” published by the Montgomery Ward Co. grew.

How does Santa get down the chimney?

Well, we’re guessing it’s a very special magic that allows Santa to make it down chimneys to leave toys. One clue on how he does it may come from the poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas." The poem mentions “a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.” Does that mean Santa can miniaturize his sleigh, his reindeer, the toys and himself? It would explain a lot.

How do you draw Santa?

Want to learn to sketch old St. Nick? Here’s a tutorial.

How can you call Santa?

Want to get a call from Santa? Here’s a few ways to do that.

You can use Dial My Calls to get calls personalize in several different ways.

You can have Santa talk to your child by using his or her name, or, if you can’t find the name on the list, you can choose one of seven other ways to have it directed toward you child. 

You can choose from:

Santa's Greeting #1: A phone call for older kids who may not believe in Santa.

Santa's Greeting #2: A message for a child who's been doing well in school.

Santa's Greeting #3: A message with a bible verse.

Santa's Greeting #4: A general message from Santa and the reindeer.

Santa's Greeting #5: A message encouraging your child to work on his or her behavior.

Santa's Greeting #6: A response to a letter sent to Santa.

Santa's Greeting #7: Praise for a child who's been doing well this year.

You can also use Christmas DialerThe Santa Phone Project or download the free app Santa's Magic Phone

How can you write a letter to Santa? 

It’s never too late to write Santa. Click here for a tutorial from wikiHow that shows you step-by-step how to do it.  

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5 arrested for murder of New York teen who was hacked to death with machete

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 8:19 PM

Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was attacked and brutally murdered Wednesday. (Photo: NYPD)
Lesandro Guzman-Feliz was attacked and brutally murdered Wednesday. (Photo: NYPD)

Police arrested five people Sunday in connection with a brutal machete attack on a teen outside a Bronx bodega earlier in the week. 

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Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, was pulled out of the Cruz and Chiky grocery Wednesday by members of the Dominican gang Trinitarios, who beat him, hacked him with a machete and left him to die on the sidewalk outside the store in what officials believe was a case of mistaken identity, according to the New York Post

Gang members wrongly believed Guzman-Feliz was in a revenge sex video posted online that featured a relative of one of the attackers, according to the Post

A leader of the gang later apologized on Facebook for the mistake, according to WPIX

The teen’s mother said her son was a good boy who had never been in a gang. He was a member of the NYPD Explorers Program for Youth and dreamed of one day becoming a detective, Leandra Feliz told the Post

“Since he was 5 years old, he told me, ‘Mommy, I want to be a police,’” she said. 

The identities of the suspects have not yet been released.

GoFundMe account, set up to help the family pay for funeral expenses and other costs has raised more than $125,000 as of Sunday evening.

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4 children killed in violent police standoff laid to rest in Florida

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 8:31 PM

The children killed in an Orlando police standoff with their mother's boyfriend are from top left (clockwise) Lillia Pluth, Irayan Pluth, Dove Lindsey and Aidan Lindsey. The children were laid to rest Saturday in Orlando.
The children killed in an Orlando police standoff with their mother's boyfriend are from top left (clockwise) Lillia Pluth, Irayan Pluth, Dove Lindsey and Aidan Lindsey. The children were laid to rest Saturday in Orlando.

Funeral services for four Orlando children killed during a 21-hour police standoff  with their mother’s boyfriend were held Saturday. 

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The services, which were open to the public, took place at St. James Catholic Cathedral in Orlando, according to an attorney representing the family.

The funeral marked a difficult day for the family of Dove Lindsey, 1, Aiden Lindsey, 6, Lillia Pluth, 10, and Irayan Pluth, 12.

The day also proved too emotional for the children's mother, Ciara Lopez. 

"I remain stuck in that one night, that one night where everything changed, standing outside that apartment, waiting for different news," she said in a statement. 

Detectives believe Gary Lindsey, 35, shot the children either shortly before or after police officers came to the door of his apartment June 10 in response to a domestic battery call from Lopez. She had escaped the apartment.

Lindsey fired at the responding officers, seriously wounding Officer Kevin Valencia, who remains in a coma. Lindsey was then holed up in the apartment for almost a full day. Officers found him dead in a closet when they entered the apartment the following day.

>>Related: Wife of Orlando officer in coma: ‘My kids need a daddy. This community needs a real hero'

The children were found in their beds, police said. 

Some of the officers who worked during the standoff went to the service. 

"It's heartbreaking to see, obviously a small casket, with an infant inside," said Orlando Police Chief John Mina. 

Lindsey was Lopez’s boyfriend and the mother of all four children. Lindsey was the father of two of the children.

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Trump demands major change in how U.S. legal system deals with illegal aliens

Published: Sunday, June 24, 2018 @ 8:52 PM

As Republicans struggled again to gather a majority in the House this week for an immigration reform bill, President Donald Trump on Sunday seemed to hint that the effort might be a waste of time, blaming Democrats for their opposition to GOP plans, and demanding major changes in how the U.S. legal system deals with those illegally entering the United States.

“When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came,” the President tweeted on Sunday, making the argument that illegal immigrants deserve no legal standing in court, no due process after being detained.

But the U.S. Supreme Court has held the opposite, ruling in a 1982 case that “illegal aliens…may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause, which provides that no State shall ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.'”

“Summarily removing individuals with no opportunity for a hearing, even if they might have viable legal objections to their removal, would likely violate due process,” said Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas Law School.

That idea was one of a number of tweets this weekend on immigration from the President:

Mr. Trump’s comments came as House Republicans were still preparing a vote this week on a backup immigration reform bill – but no date for the vote had been set, as GOP leaders have struggled to corral a majority on the issue.

In Congress, Mr. Trump’s idea to deny due process rights to illegal aliens landed with a big thud in both parties.

“Removing due process from immigration cases is yet another example of Trump’s extreme immigration policy and disregard for the rule of law,” said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ).

“No person shall be…deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law,” tweeted Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), quoting the text of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.

“Due process is a bedrock American legal principle,” said Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).

Democrats spent much of the weekend trying to focus more attention on the effort to reunite children of illegal immigrant families, who were separated from their parents under a Trump Administration effort to deter illegal immigrants from trying to cross the U.S. southern border.

But others on Capitol Hill saw the current immigration debate in much a different light.

“America is heading in the direction of another Harpers Ferry,” said Rep. Steve King (R-IA), a strong backer of the President’s calls for tough action on illegal immigration, referring to John Brown’s raid in 1859, in a bid to start a slave revolt.

“After that comes Ft. Sumter,” King said in a tweet, referring to the first shots of the Civil War.


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Amusement park loses power after car hits power pole; customers escorted off rides

Published: Monday, May 28, 2018 @ 7:09 PM

Cedar Point  amusement park. File photo. (Photo: JinJian Liang/Flickr/Creative Commons:
Cedar Point amusement park. File photo. (Photo: JinJian Liang/Flickr/Creative Commons:

People celebrating Memorial Day at Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, got a little more of a thrill than expected when some of the rides in the park stopped suddenly during a power outage Monday afternoon.

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It happened around 1:45 p.m. and affected “a section of the park,” according to a statement from Cedar Point.

“The outage was caused by a vehicle accident in which a car struck a power pole. All of the rides that were affected safely came to a stop and all guests were escorted off,” the statement said

Local news outlets reported some patrons were initially stuck on several rides.

>> Related: Riders rescued after getting stranded on roller coaster at New Jersey boardwalk

Luckily, workers at the park, which is on the shore of Lake Erie and features 17 roller coasters, were able to fix the electrical outage in a couple of hours and get customers back to the business of having fun.

>> Related: Ohio State Fair ride accident: 18-year-old killed, 7 injured identified

Cedar Point, which opened in 1870, is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the country. It features a record-setting 72 rides, the most of any amusement park in the world. contributed to this report.

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