Being Santa Claus isn’t an easy job. The real Santa oversees toy production and has 31 hours, thanks to timezones and the earth’s rotation, to make his rounds on Christmas Eve. Mall Santas, however, have a much more difficult job. Smart Money.com talked to a few Santas and gleamed a few secrets.
First of all, being Santa Claus is not cheap. A good Santa will have to shell out $400 to $2,000 for a suit, depending on fabric, materials, and decorations. A smart Santa will have more than one suit for different temperatures or in case one suit gets dirty (One-third of Santas admit they have been soiled by a child).
Even the beard will set Santa back a pretty penny. The best wig and beard sets are made of yak hair and cost $1,000 to $1,500. For those with natural beards, maintaining that snowy white appearance can cost upwards of $600 annually.
Secondly, Santa has to go Santa college. According a survey by The Kringle Group, nearly 90% of Santas have a college degree. While it doesn’t prepare them for the job of being the jolly ol’ elf, many Santas shell out $1000 in tuition for extra specialized training at professional Santa schools. They pick up helpful skills such as sign language, child development, and how to handle frightened children. That extra schooling also puts Santas in the job pool, as Santas without the special training tend to be passed over by malls and big companies.
Third, Santa makes money off your wish list. After all that investment into becoming St Nick, there’s a big return. The average Santa makes more sitting on his throne for six weeks than many consumers earn in six months. Santa pulls in anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 during the holidays. Mall Santas generally have hour rates of $10 to $40 an hour, and you can pay $50 to $300 to schedule a private visit from Mr. Claus.
Head over to Smart Money.com for more of Santa’s secrets, none of which includes his Naughty or Nice List.