Despite dutifully fulfilling the holiday wishes of nearly 1.9 billion children all over the world, making him one of the most beloved, popular people of all time, Santa Claus himself has remained shrouded in mystery. Barricaded inside his high-security, snow-covered fortress 364 days a year, he has only been glimpsed by a lucky few. The press has had a notoriously frustrating relationship with the big man, traveling to the North Pole only to be denied interview requests time and time again.
That is, until now.
After years of attempts, GOBankingRates was invited by none other than Jangles B. Tannenbaum, the infamous elfin public relations manager for the Claus estate, to join him for a tour of the North Pole and a candid look at the Clauses’ financials. Keep reading to discover exactly how well Kris Kringle is doing. Trust us, this is one celebrity net worth that will surprise you.
Note that for obvious reasons, photography was strictly prohibited on this tour.
Santa has nine magical, flying reindeer on his property, eight of which he acquired in 1821. The illustrious Rudolph was introduced sometime in 1949, when Mrs. Claus found him wandering the perimeter of the property. With their ability to fly upping their value, Tannenbaum estimated they are easily worth $100,000 a piece, 100 times the market value of a run-of-the-mill reindeer. Rudolph, who is gifted with an innate knack for navigation in the dead of night, is said to be worth $150,000 — making him one of the most expensive pets in the world.
The reindeer sleeping quarters are nothing short of lavish. Tannenbaum noted that Mrs. Claus, a great animal lover, would have nothing less for the magical creatures who “are like family.” They sleep on satin-covered, Posturepedic-like mattresses (Tannenbaum wouldn’t disclose their proprietary mattress filling, but did mention that candy floss plays a role) to cradle their travel-weary bones. And an elf is assigned to each deer to keep them in the utmost comfort. All told, the structure is valued at $100,000.
The sleigh team’s living space is situated on about 30 acres of tundra-like terrain. The reindeer enjoy the wide open space and fresh air, and have a place to practice flight training exercises with their elfin coaches. The value of the land is estimated at $10 million, but Tannenbaum was quick to point out, “We get an offer on the farm every year from celebrities and other bigwigs, but it’s never going to happen.”
Total value: $11,050,000
Santa keeps an impressive number of elves on staff — 5,000 in sum. Tannenbaum explained that depending on their talents and area of interest, they’re given their choice of job position — usually toy maker, chef, reindeer aid or mechanic (though it’s worth noting that one elf did forge an impressive career in dentistry.) And all of the elves, regardless of position, live and sleep in a mega-complex on the property.
Tannenbaum himself lives in the complex, but stays on the top floor, nicknamed “The Peppermint Penthouse” by the other elves. When pressed for details, he only said, “Oh, you know, it’s the usual stuff. You’ve got your gingerbread walls, your Twizzler shag carpet — nothing fancy.”
The property the complex is situated on is worth no less than $100 million. Now that’s a lot of milk-and-cookie money.
Total value: $530,500,000
Though Santa is hundreds of years old, you would never guess it by the way he rides his scooter. That’s right — he whips around the factory on what can only be described as a rocket-powered candy cane, consulting with the elves. The toy, a gift from his team to commemorate his recent 1,738th birthday, is valued at $2,400.
Aside from that little number, his sleigh is obviously his most famous mode of transportation. It is hot-rod red with silver- and gold-foil embellishments, has a handstitched leather interior and a navigation system that effectively means he knows where anyone is at any given time.
“It took 17 hours to install,” said Tannenbaum of the high-tech GPS. And the price of the whole kit and kaboodle? The PR manager had a slightly more coy response: “You know the Rolls-Royce Sweptail? Goes for about $13 million. Let’s just say that this is worth at least five Sweptails,” he said.
Total value: $65,002,400
Under the aurora borealis-streaked skies, behind the Clauses’ living quarters — and hidden away from the elves’ prying eyes — is Santa’s personal hot tub. The big man had it installed in 1972, but it has since been given several upgrades, including a mint-infused hot cocoa bath feature. “Keeps the skin looking supple,” said Tannenbaum.
But it’s not just for vanity purposes. “He’s often up late into the night, examining flight patterns and going over toy design,” he said. “He’s a hard worker and the tub is there to soothe his aching back.”
Total value: $15,000
No song, book or movie has ever done Santa’s toy shop justice. What a place. It’s a multilevel building that makes Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory look like amateur hour. As Tannenbaum guided GOBankingRates through the whirls of toys, candy and fast-talking elves, one thing was clear: This was worth a lot.
“Listen,” the elf said. “It’s hard to put a valuation on this. How do you put a price tag on Christmas joy?” After pointing out that the property, candy-striped walls, stained glass windows and conveyor belts zipping toys around were all tangible items with respective values, he caved. “$50 billion, OK?” he said. “And that’s conservative.”
Total value: $50,000,000,000
Mrs. Claus, a master seamstress, prides herself on crafting all of her husband’s garments by hand. She joined GOBankingRates briefly on the tour and provided valuable insight into his legendary wardrobe.
“These fingers might be old, but they can still make one heck of a suit,” she said with a wink. Though she declined to reveal her trade secrets, she did say that she uses nothing but the finest velvet, satin and leather goods. She also incorporates a special elf-made material that seems to essentially be the opposite of Spanx, causing even the smallest of bellies to shake like bowls full of jelly. “What can I say?” she said. “People don’t like a skinny Santa. One year when Atkins was big, he lost a ton of weight, and the focus groups were not pleased. I had to add padding to his suits.”
Jolly old St. Nicholas keeps quite a few spare suits on hand. His armoire is filled with approximately $100,000 worth of merchandise — enough glam to impress even Lady Gaga (who has an insanely expensive wardrobe of her own). But, as with most celebrities, most days around the house Santa sticks to a pretty basic look. “The suits are part of his brand,” said Mrs. Claus. “But they’re impractical for around the factory.”
Total value: $100,000
The Clauses live in a surprisingly understated, cottage-like home on the grounds. In fact, compared with the other structures at the North Pole, it’s practically a microhome. Tannenbaum explained that the modest house has been the same one they’ve had for hundreds of years. “It was built in 1403 after the original cabin that existed on the same spot burned down. The Gingersnap fires. A terrible thing,” he said.
Indeed, the Clauses seem to care more about providing comfort to the elves and deer than themselves. They’re simply celebrities who prefer to live like average Joes.
Total value: $250,000
Some might be surprised to hear that Santa is an investor, but it’s true. He began investing fairly recently, in the latter half of the 20th century when the advent of the internet enticed him into investing. He’s no gambler though; he prefers safe investments with high returns. In addition to his mutual fund, he dabbles in coal futures with consistently sizable ROI.
He also has an IRA. That might sound strange for a man who has no plans for retirement, but as Tannenbaum fairly pointed out, “Compound interest works wonders when you’re immortal.”
Total value: $92,995,368
Similarly surprising will be the revelation that St. Nick has a health savings account. If you’re an everlasting, magical being, why do you need an HSA?
As it turns out, there are a variety of ailments that elves, reindeer and the Clauses are not immune to. “Candy Cough, for example,” Tannenbaum said. “It’s when you spend too much time around peppermint dust and it inflames the lungs. A very nasty business.” Apparently, Tinselitis, Sugarplum Vision, Chimney Chaffing and something known as Toy Fever are also very real concerns. “One year, Mrs. Claus came down with a bad humbug,” said Tannenbaum. “And ever since, Santa has believed firmly in having an HSA for the missus and himself.”
When asked if Rudolph’s nose was only red due to some kind of inflammation, Tannenbaum rolled his eyes. “No, that’s the real deal,” he said.
Total value: $5,000
Collection of Antique Toys
At the end of a rarely traveled hallway, so small you might miss it, lies an emerald green door. And behind it, a vault containing Santa’s most prized possessions: toys. But these aren’t Legos and Barbies. They are centuries-old and exceedingly rare finds. And behind this door was the one opportunity GOBankingRates got to speak with Santa Claus himself.
“Each toy belonged to a very special child at some point, but was lost for one reason or another,” he said, holding what appeared to be a carved wooden horse. “I find them and restore them to their former glory. I just can’t bear the thought of a toy all alone.” This can be a time-consuming hobby, but even Santa needs a break from the constant go-go-go of Christmas planning. “It’s relaxing. I’ve tried yoga and meditation, but nothing does it for me quite like a nice glass of milk, a plate of cookies and a little time with my toys.”
Total value: $242,500
Santa Claus and Tannenbaum escorted GOBankingRates out of the North Pole. On the way out, Santa Claus’ net worth of $51,600,160,268 was mentioned to the gentlemen. It was unanticipated that the figure didn’t exceed Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ net worth when Claus has magic on his side.
“It’s never about the money. It’s about using what you have to love and care for others,” said Claus. “And besides, have you used Amazon lately? I can have reindeer feed, jumbo gumdrops and a 5-gallon drum of apple cider delivered to the North Pole in two hours. It might as well be magic.”
Click through to discover fun, free ways to celebrate Christmas this year.
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