I found these figures on some internet site and again in the paper this morning. Being dopers, I’m sure you’d like to check the accuracy of the math and perhaps add some figures of your own:

75 million — Approximate miles Santa must travel

650 miles per second — Approximate speed Santa must travel to serve each household with a Christian child

822.6 — Approximate number of homes Santa must visit each second on Christmas Eve

2,950.7 tons — Approximate weight Santa would gain if he consumed 1 cookie and an 8-ounce glass of milk at each home

321,000 tons— Estimated weight of Santa’s sleigh, assuming 2 pounds of toys per child

214,200— Reindeer Santa would need to pull that load (assuming aerial reindeer can pull 10 times a normal reindeer load)

17,500 — G forces inflicted on Santa as his sled accelerates to 650 miles per second

14.3 quintillion — Estimated energy, in joules, absorbed by the lead reindeer on Santa’s sleigh

0.0042 second — Estimated time it takes Santa and sleigh to vaporize from friction during acceleration

My contribution:

1,285,200 feet (or 243.409 miles) - Length of 214,200 reindeer placed end to end, assuming a six foot average length per reindeer.

Wouldn’t it be half that? Every image I’ve seen of Santa’s sleigh has the reindeer hitched in a 2 x 2 fashion.
ETA: you should check out Norad Santa, I think it has some more details. (Or it used to, I can’t find the comparisons or technical data up there this year.)

And don’t forget the carrots left out for the Reindeer (and, this year, a dog biscuit for “Olive, the Other Reindeer” since we watched that last night)! The Reindeer will be gaining weight as they go, to make up for the toys left behind.

Those are impressive numbers. Unfortunately, most of them are meaningless, given the fact that Santa does not actually visit every house in the world in a single night.

For the last few years I’ve been thinking that Santa’s reindeer are going to absolutely hate Christmas Eve when we finally colonize Mars. That’ll add, what? 30-250 million miles, depending on our respective orbits? Sure, it sounds like Santa’s got heat shielding figured out what with traveling 650 m/s, but what about radiation shielding? Reindeer-shaped pressurized suits? Freeze-and-vacuum-proofed toys?

The upside is that once they’ve broken free of Earth’s gravitational field they’ll be able to coast a good portion of the way and rest up for the braking burn, but I just don’t think Ole Nick will consider it worth the trouble for a few dozen lousy souls and will secretly switch them to the naughty list. Something to consider for all you prospective spacefarers.

Anyone remember the Sci-Fi short story involving the space station with the crew putting on a Christmas celebration for the amusement/edification of the local BEMs?

It was a lot of work, but they managed it, and the natives had a blast. Then it turned out that the natives’ concept of a “year” was about one Earth week, and they were going to expect annual productions.

Only Christian childs? How bigoted. Especially considering that Santa Claus has a pagan origin.

Needed for accurate calculations: time taken at each stop, amount of friction and delay generated by a fat man sliding down a thin chimney, time taken retracing steps for houses he forgot, refueling time (cookies, milk and reindeer biscuits)…