Santa stats: Inside the holly jolly business of spreading cheer

Becoming Kris Kringle is serious business.

While we draft our out-of-office messages for that glorious week between Christmas and New Year’s, just remember there’s one employee who is always hard at work: Santa. 

Santa stats: Inside the holly jolly business of spreading cheer

According to HireSanta’s 2023 report, which surveyed 1.2k+ Santas-for-hire, there’s much more to the beloved icon than his beard and belly. 

It turns out spreading joy is serious business:

  • The majority of Santas (29.4%) reported earning $5k-$10k in 2022, followed by the 16.9% who said they earned $10k-$15k.
  • More prefer hourly gigs (59.5%) to full-season work (26%), and a majority (59%) said the ideal time spent in the big red chair is 6+ hours. 
  • Hourly pay for most gigs fell between $100 and $200, while 30.5% of full-season gigs started at $75 per hour. 

Becoming Mr. Claus is a big investment: The majority of Santas report spending between $500 and $1.5k to get into character, which often includes owning two to three Santa suits. 

And 60.5% of the Christmas pros attended Santa school. Seriously. 

But who’s inside the suit?

Santa is both a consummate professional and a multidimensional being:

  • 67% of pro Santas are between the ages of 62 and 74. 
  • Many Santas are, surprisingly, from warm climates: Texas (15.1%) and California (7.5%) were the most common answers. 
  • 79.5% are married. (Shout out to Mrs. Claus.) 
  • 53.3% have an education level of college or above.

And while most Saint Nicks are retired, day jobs include everything from a funeral director to a CEO, artist, and graphic designer.  

As for the nature vs. nurture debate, the survey shed some light: 51.6% of Santas had beards before they ever donned a red velvet hat.

Topics: Holiday

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