“How’s this interview going? Do you think you’re talking to a normal person here?”
The short answer: Google Maps and stardust propulsion. The long answer: Santa has more than 24 hours due to the earth's tilt and all the time zones—when New Yorkers are setting out the cookies, children in Australia have already opened all their packages.
He'll walk right through the front door! It's that simple. Sometimes families with a chimney make a fire and Santa has to use the front door then, too, because—well, ouch. (He's also been known to skip the chimney if he's eaten too many cookies.) Here's an idea: Leave him a key! See our directions above for how to make an extra-special one.
Santa has eyes everywhere. Elves—the one on your shelf and the ones at the North Pole—are always watching, but mommies and daddies, teachers, babysitters, and bus drivers are all part of Team Santa too. They report to the man in red on a daily basis, which means, just to be safe, you should probably be on your best behavior everywhere you go, all the time, no matter what.
Your elf does not have to be there in person to tell the boss you called your sister a not-nice name. Elves can communicate with headquarters over special elf waves. Sometimes there's a blizzard in the North Pole or air traffic that keeps him grounded, and sometimes he's just too darn tired to move a little elf muscle. Here's the thing about elves on shelves: Some just have more time on their hands than others.
Every once in a while, Santa reaches into his sack to pull out a present and discovers it's not wrapped. This means that some elf didn't do his job and will probably be demoted to cleaning the reindeer pen on December 26, but in the meantime, the big guy keeps his cool and goes into your mom's wrapping-paper stash to borrow just a little to wrap the gift. Team Santa, FTW!
Um, have you seen the guy's belly?
An older sister always thinks she knows best. This rings true in Christmas for Greta and Gracie, by Yasmeen Ismail, until a surprise on Christmas Eve renders the chatty big sister speechless. Ages 3 to 7, $16
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold, by Maureen Fergus, is a role-reversing tale about the jolly man at the North Pole denying the existence of children—after all, he doesn't have any proof. Ages 4 to 8, $17
Ever wonder what adventures await at the North Pole? Well, the cat's out of the bag in Stowaway in a Sleigh, by C. Roger Mader. Slipper, the curious cat, climbs into Santa's sack for an unforgettable journey. Ages 4 to 7, $18
In The Lost Gift, by Kallie George, Santa loses a present and a band of woodland creatures embarks on a journey to deliver it in time for Baby's first Christmas. Ages 4 to 8, $18
—Shannon M. Bauer
With a game-changing denim line and a super-fit shape she got the healthy way (think: hard work and smart nutrition), the coolest Kardashian is taking body love to a whole new level.