Naughty Not Nice: Instances of Santa Abuse Reported

December 20, 2006

So you think you’ve got a tough job? When was the last time someone pulled your beard or wet on your lap at work?

That is what mall Santas cheerfully endure every year.

After discovering that 34 percent of mall Santas have been “wet” on by a child, the pretzel franchiser Auntie Anne’s has concluded that no one has it as bad during the holidays as the mall Santa. Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, located primarily in malls, conducted a survey to understand just how much abuse old St. Nick withstands.

The “Santa We Got Your Back” survey, administered online by Brand IQ, polled more than 330 of the 1,000+ members with the Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas (AORBS), an international association of real bearded gentlemen dedicated to the joy of being Santa, to prove he truly is the hardest working man in retail during the holiday season.

By the way, the average real bearded Santa respondent is 59-years-old, 5 feet 10 inches tall and a healthy 257 pounds.

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

If Santa could “pimp his sleigh,” 44% would add a GPS for Mrs. Claus

More than 60% are sneezed or coughed on up to 10 times each day

74% have up to 10 children cry while on their lap each day

Nearly 90% of mall Santas have their beard pulled each day to see if it’s real

45% of Santas see camera “flash” spots more than 25 times a day

Nearly 30% of mall Santas have more than 100 children sit on their lap every day

In light of these findings, Auntie Anne’s is providing mall Santas nationwide with the “Santa We Got Your Back” Survival Kit to help them through the crying, sneezing, toe-stomping, pant-wetting and beard-pulling this holiday. The Santa Survival Kit includes:
-Boot polish kit
-Hand sanitizer
-Cherry lip balm
-Shout® wipes
-Beard grooming kit
-Battery-operated fan
-Roll of mint Certs®
-Backup red light bulb for Rudolph’s nose
-Official reindeer pooper-scooper
-Chilled bottle of Dasani® water
-Mrs. Claus peppermint foot lotion
-Free Auntie Anne’s Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel cards
-Ricola® throat drops (for the ho, ho, ho-ing)
-Absorbent Santa tissue pack

“While Santas’ workload increases over the holiday season, we love every minute of our jobs,” said Santa Timothy Connaghan, executive director of AORBS. “We are delighted to receive the Santa Survival Kits filled with goodies to help us through this busy, yet exciting, time of year.”

More Santa facts:

Fresh breath is of top priority for 20% of Santas who eat four to six mints each day

52% of Santas believe girls are more shy than boys

When children come to visit Santa at the mall, over 75% believe they have been good all year long while only half of Santas believe they are telling the truth

Source: Auntie Anne’s

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