Santa Sheds His Skin

A black and white photo of a santa clause hat and beard hanging from a window with bars

At 11:59pm every December 25th, the Santas shed their skins. It’s a beautiful moment in the evening, coming after long hours peacocking around the world, spreading their red tasseled hats among the crowds.

But this joy comes at a cost. As the day wears on, fluids leave the body in a drippy sweat, and the Santas, once rotund and joyful, shrink down to meatless skeletons. By the end of the evening, there’s little left of them. If you catch a Santa past 11pm, you may not recognize him.

But it’s not the end, of course. Nearly in unison, all Santa’s shed their skin at 11:59pm—in their respective time zones—before casting themselves back to the great north to hibernate. In hibernation, they’re fed liquids and foods through an IV by the workshop elves, bloating their bodies again to prepare them for next year.