The Hardest Working Man of the Year!

Red Suit Survey gives the title to Santa

Based on reponses from 500+ Santas surveyed between October 19 -24, 2018.  Full details and statistics from can be found at: Red Suit Survey

 By National Santa™ Tim Connaghan

There is more to Santa’s job, than just sitting in the chair!

  • 44.3 percent are sneezed or coughed on up to 15 times each day.
  • Twenty-eight percent of Santas have been “wet” on by a child.
  • 86.9 percent of the Santas are the real thing, no padding!
  • Over 25 % of the Santas and Mrs. Claus, prefer beaches, cruises and warm
    climates for their vacations.

New York, NY. (November 1, 2018) – The work of Santa, during the holiday season, is much more involved than you think.  And a recent survey has the statistics to prove that Santa Claus may be the hardest working man in Retail!

By now, most of us know that the “Man in the Red Suit” will soon be arriving at just about every Mall in America.  And would you believe that some have already started work.  

Celebrating his fiftieth year in the business, Santa Tim Connaghan has made it his job to know just about everything related to working as a Santa.  

Whether it is sitting in a big mall, appearing in a parade, presiding over a tree lighting ceremony or a just a private home visit to a family, he understands all of the “do’s and don’ts” of wearing the “Red Suit.”

And the roughest job of all is that of the traditional Mall Santa.   

As principal instructor for the International University of Santa Claus, aka: School4Santas, Connaghan knows that all the cheer and happiness Santa brings to children across the world comes at no small expense.

“When was the last time someone pulled your beard or wet on your lap at work?” says Santa Tim. 

Having instructed over 4,000 holiday professionals in the past sixteen years, he has connections with thousands of Santas across America and has conducted numerous surveys of his fellow Clauses.

The 2018 survey confirms a few things most of us already knew and also updates us on some areas of Santa’s life, his work, the problems he faces and a few other things we knew little about!

Over 600 of the estimated 5,500 Santas across America responded to the 2018 Survey conducted between October 19 and 24, 2018, by the Kringle Group, LLC. (Yes, it is a real company).  The data collected and it’s results confirm that Santa truly is, “the hardest working man in retail,” 

Beyond how many kids have been “naughty or nice,” the following are some of the survey highlights:

  • To prepare for the holiday work load, 63.2 % report they enjoy stretching and walking. 12.3 % belong to a health or fitness club and 9.6 percent say they work out by taking care of their grandchildren! 
  • Nearly half of mall Santas’ black boots are between a size 10 to 11½, and more than 55 percent of Santas have children step on their boots 1 to 10 times a day<![if !supportLists]>
  • Every Santa reports they have at one time or another had a crying baby. 
    80.9 percent say that less than 10% of the babies visiting them
  • More than 44 percent are sneezed or coughed on up to 15 times each day
  • 86.9 percent of the Santas are the real thing, no padding!
  • 93 percent of the Santas have their beard pulled to see if it is real. 
    They reported that of the “pullees,” 50.6 percent were kids. 
    The remaining 42.6 percent were adults.
  • 61.4 percent of Santas see camera “flash” spots more than 25 times a day(Some Santas have seen so many flashes, they no longer blink!)
  • 38 percent of Santas give between ten and 25% of their time to charity; 6.1 percent between 25% and 50%;  17.5% give more that 50%, and 5.5 percent spend all of their time as Santa working for non-profit organizations and charities.
  • 17.8 per cent use a fan to keep cool while working. 82.2 percent wish they had a fan!
  • Over 45.6 percent have up to 10 children try to take their glasses off each day. 54.7 percent also pose for pictures with pets, which range from puppies and kittens to boa constrictors!
  • Nearly 30 percent of mall Santas have more than 100 children sit on their lap every day.
  • Only 17.5% of the Santas have a second language. These include, Spanish, French German, Japanese, Russian and Italian.  11% speak Spanish and 2% use American Sign Language. 
  • 90.6% of Santas are married. 27.5% report their wives work with them as Mrs. Claus; 7% say she is Santa’s agent; 35.1% state she is always there when I need her: and 22.5% report that their wives quietly watch and let Santa do his own thing!
  • While most people look forward to family vacations or watching football games after Christmas, 84.2 percent of Santas want to spend time with their families. 9.6 percent look forward to taking a nice, long nap.
  • 40.3 percent of the Santas questioned report they have their own web site or a personalized web page.
  • If Santa could “pimp his sleigh,” 61.7 percent would add a GPS

Following the first Discover Santa Convention one Mrs. Claus reported in Time Magazine, that “Santa is a Chick Magnet.”  We asked the Santas that same question. 

39.5% said NO, 32.4% said yes or sometimes. And 26 .6% said, “It’s a difficult job, but someone has to do it!”

After spending her year freezing at the North Pole, Mrs. Claus wishes for time alone with her jolly old husband in a warm climate. Following Christmas, 56.1 percent of the Santas go on vacation or visit relatives; 14.3 report they are going on a cruise; and would you belive that 18.7% immediately start planning for next year!

By the way, over 25 % of the Santas and Mrs. Claus, prefer beaches, cruises and warm climates for their vacations.

In light of the many problems and situations Santas encounter, Santa Tim created a special list of important items that every Santa needs to help them
get through the crying, sneezing, toe-stomping, pant-wetting and beard-pulling they will endure this coming holiday season. 
You probably won’t see these on the Santa Set, but be assured that Santa has the following close at hand:

  • Breath mints
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Beard grooming kit with mirror
  • Moustache Wax or styling glue
  • Cologne
  • Battery powered pocket fan
  • Boot polish kit
  • Cherry Chapstick
  • Bottled Water
  • Pocket Facial tissues                                      
  • Small waterproof, lap pad for wet babies. 
  • Medicated throat drops to keep the ho-ho-ho’s strong
  • Shout wipes for spot removal
  • Extra white gloves
  • A small 10″ fan located near-by, but out of sight, blowing a cool breeze

In addition to the above, Santa Tim says that some Santas have also put a few special, protective items on the list. 
Would you believe: steel toed boots, shin guards and even a little athletic protective hardware for those sensitive parts of the body?  

There have been reports, over the years, of panicked babies kicking a Santa so hard . . . .

The following are additional mall Santa facts: 

  • Sixty percent of real bearded Santas groom their beard up to four times
    each day
  • The average Santa has 2.54 suits and 19.8 percent of the Santas own four
    to six red suits or more, to stay looking sharp for the holidays.
  • Santa is a very well-hydrated man with 45 percent drinking 5 to 10 glasses of water each day.
  • Fresh breath is of top priority for 20 percent of Santas who eat four to six mints each day. 
  • Fifty-two percent of Santas believe girls are more shy than boys.
  • When children come to visit Santa at the mall, over 75 percent believe they have been good all year long while only half of Santas believe they are telling the truth. 


© 2002, 2010, 2016

A Santa for over 47 years, Tim Connaghan heads The Kringle Group and is the author of “Behind the Red Suit – the Business of Santa Claus.” He directs, School4Santas, the International University of Santa Claus, where he has graduated over 3,300 Santas and Mrs. Claus.  He is the National Santa for the Marine Corps, Toys for Tots Foundation and for 13 years has been the Official Santa for the Hollywood Christmas Parade.  Additionally, he operates, supplying Santas for Corporation, Associations and even Private family events.  He has appeared in commercials for Oreo, Target, Sears, to name a few and appeared on the Tonight Show, Today Show, the Mentalist, Castle and in motion pictures.  In 2012, he was inducted into the International Santa Claus Hall of Fame.  He can be reached at: .
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