A Fun Look at Holiday Classics Through Aqua-Colored Glasses

We all have at least one favorite holiday classic that we know so well we repeat the dialogue word for word. We’ve watched it so many times, we know every nuance, and if we didn’t love it so much we might just admit that it has become a tad boring. So, as our holiday gift to you, the American Water team asked, “Where would the classics be without water?” and present our answers to add a little spice to your viewing this year. 

Frosty the No Man? Without water, there’d be no snow and, therefore, no Frosty the Snowman. At an estimated 6 feet tall and 600 pounds, it would require approximately 72 gallons of water to build Frosty and maintain his plump, jolly figure. Moreover, the water footprint to grow 365 pounds of carrots to keep Frosty’s friend, Hocus-Pocus, supplied from one Christmas to the next is 5,431 gallons.

It’s a Not-So-Wonderful Life. Many of the water-reliant elements in It’s a Wonderful Life are pretty on the nose. The drama would be lost for George Bailey and Clarence if the roaring river that brought the two together didn’t exist. ZuZu’s petals would be in much better shape had she kept that flower in water. The gymnasium pool scene…well, it just wouldn’t be a scene at all. Lastly, if George really did lasso the moon and give it to Mary, our oceans would become stagnant, as tides would cease to exist.

Bah, Humbug! We think Ebenezer Scrooge might be even stingier with his coal if he knew that it takes approximately one gallon of water to extract, process and dispose one pound of coal. And that prize goose? Well, assuming that beauty was 10 pounds (at least!), he had a water footprint of 2,658 gallons before making his way to the Cratchit’s table.

The Blitz-en is on. Rudolph and his eight reindeer peers typically prefer eating snow to drinking water, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s say each reindeer drinks about 3.4 gallons of water per day. That equates to 30.6 gallons of water per day for Santa’s entire team. As for Yukon Cornelius and “The Bumble,” just how would they make their escape if not for all the water transporting their iceberg—not to mention comprising the berg itself?

White Christmas or Fright Christmas? If the average snowfall fell consistently for all 140 minutes that Bing Crosby and his crew entertained us with a White Christmas, it would accumulate 70 inches of snow—the equivalent of 7 inches of rain—in the fictional Vermont town!

Derailing the Polar Express. Assuming the Polar Express was an average steam-engine train (which, of course we know it wasn’t), it would require 40,000 gallons of water to travel 250 miles. For us to take a Polar Express ride from our Camden headquarters to the North Pole, it would require 550,560 gallons of water.

34th Street Praying for a Miracle. It requires about 6 gallons of water to produce the writing paper and envelope needed for just one letter to Santa. Remind us again: How many dozens of mailbags were emptied onto the judge’s bench?

Good Grief! Where’s the Tree? Even “not such a bad little tree” needs lots of water to stay fresh after it’s cut and brought inside—the average cut tree requires 12 gallons of water to survive during the “12 days of Christmas.” (If only Charlie Brown chose a potted tree, which requires much less water and can be replanted to replenish the environment!) Let’s not forget that opening skating scene with Snoopy, Linus and their pals. That certainly wouldn’t be possible without a full pond—free of pollution and algae—that could freeze to form a perfectly smooth skating surface.

Eight Crazy and Very Dark Nights. We pay homage to the song “Come Light the Menorah” by looking at the water needed to produce olive oil, the traditional fuel for menorahs. Assuming one out of every 5 Jewish Americans lights a menorah and that 1/2 cup of olive oil is used for an eight-night lighting, that’s 492,765,000 gallons of water helping to provide these symbolic lights.

Happy holidays and a very water-conscious new year—from our American Water family to yours!