The jingle bells are getting louder and Santa Claus is coming to town. After last month’s Thanksgiving in Pounds feature, I wanted to bring you all Christmas in Pounds for all of your holiday fun fact feasting.
From the weight of Santa’s wish list and sleigh down to the smallest sugar plum, we’ve got answers to all your weight-related holiday questions.
5.2 billion pounds: The weight of the toys Santa could be hauling.
In 2013, the Telegraph calculated the weight of Santa’s sleigh and the physics of distributing those gifts to the children of the world. They took the weight of a popular toy, a Buzz Lightyear action figure, and multiplied the weight by 700,000,000 believers coming to 2,363,200 metric tonnes. Converted to pounds: 5,209,964,600. They figured Santa might need as many as 5.6 million reindeer to pull that sleigh and he’d need to travel at 6,650,807.72 MPH in order to deliver a gift to every child.
1 billion pounds: The approximate weight of holiday cards delivered by United States Postal Service between Thanksgiving and Christmas annually.
According to the Kelley School of Business at the University of Indiana, the USPS delivers 17 billion cards in the continental U.S. The average weight of a letter (to qualify for one U.S. stamp) is 1 ounce. Factored to pounds, those postal workers are earning their Christmas cookies.
400 million pounds — The weight Santa could gain if he ate all of the cookies and milk left for him.
In 2013, Delish estimated that in the United States, Santa may visit up to 100 million homes. If 1 million of those homes left cookies out and Santa consumed two bites of each cookie, he would eat roughly 336,150,386 cookies, just under 40 billion calories. Mental Floss took these calculations a step farther and calculated Santa’s weight gain, assuming of course that he didn’t burn any calories on his epic trip across the world.
122 million pounds: Weight of eggnog consumed during the holiday season.
The Kelley School of Business comes through again with this fun fact. In 2007, eggnog consumption nationwide was 122 million pounds with peak sales occurring the week before Thanksgiving, the weeks of Christmas, and just after Christmas. They figured this came out to roughly 1/2 a cup per person.
55 million pounds: The weight of all of the candy canes produced each holiday season.
According to Delish, 1.76 billion candy canes are produced and consumed every year. The average candy cane weighs approximately half and ounce. Factored to pounds, that’s a lot of peppermint goodness.
85,800 pounds: Approximate weight of the world’s largest gingerbread house.
Built in 2013 in Bryan, Texas, the house measures 39,201.8 cubic feet. Assuming the average gingerbread house measures 1 cubic foot (that being a generous measurement) and weighs 2.2 pounds, this edible creation could weigh even more. According to Today, the house required 1,800 pounds of butter, 7,200 eggs, 7,200 pounds of flour and close to 3,000 pounds of brown sugar. Also, 22,304 pieces of candy were attached to the outside, making it a 36 million-calorie home.
20,000 pounds: The weight of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller center.
This 10-ton Norway Spruce stands 78 feet tall and is approximately 80 years old. Nearly 5 miles of lights adorn the tree along with a star topper with 25,000 Swarovski crystals.
9,596 pounds: The heaviest fruit cake ever made.
Baked in Hodenhagen, Germany in 2014, the cake set the Guinness World Record, measuring more than 13 yards across. Bakers used more than 3,500 pounds of strawberries; 175 pounds of bananas; 220 pounds of tangerines; 260 pounds of peaches; 95 gallons of milk; 1,100 pounds of flour; 1,700 pounds of sugar; 100 pounds of gelatin (pie cast); 1,100 kg butter; 90 pounds of cream powder; 1,000 eggs; 200 pounds of oil; and 12 pounds of baking powder.
352.7 pounds: The weight of Santa’s list.
In 2016, a team from Laplund, Finland, collected 75,954 wishes from more than 30 countries to break the previous world record by more nearly 4,000 wishes.
350-400 pounds: Weight of an average male reindeer, with some weighing in closer to 700 pounds.
According to this reindeer fact sheet, males can grow to between 6 and 7 feet tall and their antlers can reach more than four feet in length.
240 pounds: Weight of a Sleigh Worx’s largest sleigh, the Star Dasher.
Just over 7 feet long, this sleigh features a compartment just perfect for hauling presents. But is it enough to carry Santa’s load?
2.8 ounces: The weight of a sugar plum.
If you thought a sugar plum was sugar-coated plum, you’re wrong. According to National Geographic, which consulted candy historians, “a sugar plum is a comfit—that is, a seed, nut, or scrap of spice coated with a layer of hard sugar, like the crunchy outer case of an M&M.”