Executive file: Santa

A legend in the toy trade

By David Jasper / The Bulletin

Published Dec 25, 2012 at 04:00AM

Santa Claus has dominated the toy trade for centuries, enjoying widespread acclaim for his effort to put toys in the hands of children around the world, asking no more than a cookie and a glass of milk.

Although the man also known as St. Nick is renowned for his upbeat demeanor, bold fashion sensibilities and rescue work with flying reindeer, readers may be less familiar with his business side: Claus revolutionized spreadsheet design — for tracking the naughty and nice, of course — and he’s the main reason for low unemployment rates among elves.

Claus spoke to The Bulletin at his state-of-the-art workshop deep within the North Pole.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: Bringing smiles to the faces of all the boys and girls, of course! Also, the frequent flyer miles.

Q: And the worst?

A: There’s no “worst” part of this job, but I will say that I’m such a perfectionist, I’ll sometimes tinker with a design right up until Christmas Eve. My employees don’t like that, but it’s my way or the Alaskan Highway.

Q: How would you describe your business practices?

A: Green. Very, very green. Also, red. And kind of tinsel-like.

Q: Your business model defies the basic concepts of economics. How do you address naysayers who say it can’t be sustainable?

A: Ask me again in a few eons. Look, I may be a man with a wide middle, but I have no middle man. In other words, I’m both producer and distributor of the toys.

Q: Who are some of your business heroes?

A: Steve Jobs. I kind of like Mark Cuban, but his whining during the 2006 NBA Finals nearly landed him on the naughty list! The Easter Bunny tells great jokes.

Q: Does the stress of running a business ever get to you?

A: My life coach tells me it’s important to laugh, so I frequently say “Ho ho ho!”

Q: Any advice for readers starting their own businesses in the new year?

A: Make sure there’s a coffee kiosk nearby. You’ll need it.

Q: Final thoughts, Santa?

A: Merry Christmas! You can get off of my lap now.

Q: What’s the best part of your job?

A: Bringing smiles to the faces of all the boys and girls, of course! Also, the frequent flier miles.

Q: And the worst?

A: There’s no “worst” part of this job, but I will say that I’m such a perfectionist, I’ll sometimes tinker with a design right up until Christmas Eve. My employees don’t like that, but it’s my way or the Alaskan Highway.

Q: How would you describe your business practices?

A: Green. Very, very green. Also, red. And kind of tinsel-like.

Q: Your business model defies the basic concepts of economics. How do you address naysayers who say it can’t be sustainable?

A: Ask me again in a few eons. Look, I may be a man with a wide middle, but I have no middle man. In other words, I’m both producer and distributor of the toys.

Q: Who are some of your business heroes?

A: Steve Jobs. I kind of like Mark Cuban, but his whining during the 2006 NBA Finals nearly landed him on the naughty list! The Easter Bunny tells great jokes.

Q: Does the stress of running a business ever get to you?

A: My life coach tells me it’s important to laugh, so I frequently say “Ho ho ho!”

Q: Any advice for readers starting their own businesses in the new year?

A: Make sure there’s a coffee kiosk nearby. You’ll need it.

Q: Final thoughts, Santa?

A: Merry Christmas! You can get off of my lap now.