How Much Would It Cost to Run Santa's Workshop in Real Life

How Much Would It Cost to Run Santa's Workshop in Real Life

The Christmas season is upon us, which means Father Christmas will be one busy man right now. Santa's workshop is one of the biggest operations in the world and so we crunched the numbers on how much it would cost to run Santa's workshop in real life.

The Christmas countdown is officially on, with children all over the world eagerly counting down the days until Santa fills their stocking with Christmas goodies.

Research shows that on average children receive a total of 16 presents at Christmas, which means if Santa did exist (and hey, we’re not saying he doesn’t) the running of his workshop would be a huge, and costly, operation.

So just how much would it cost to run Santa’s workshop in real life? That’s what we set out to discover.

When considering the cost of Santa’s workshop operation there are a variety of factors to take into account, from the manufacturing costs of toy production, to a fair wage for the elves, plus the cost of gas and electricity to keep the workshop and the living areas up and running, to name just a few. In analysing the cost of running Santa’s workshop in real life we decided to break down each of these core factors.

Toy Production

The production of toys is of course one of the largest elements of Santa’s entire operation, and the cost of producing numerous toys for millions of children around the world is sure to add up.

There are approximately 2 billion children in the world, and around 45% of the world celebrate Christmas. This means that around 900,000,000 children celebrate Christmas. Research shows that on average children receive 16 gifts each, this would mean a grand total of 14,400,000,000 toys being produced in Santa’s workshop.

It is estimated that the production cost of one toy averages around €2.52, so the total production cost of 14,400,000,000 toys would amount to €36,288,000,000.

Staff Wages

Of course the toys won’t make themselves, Santa needs a large team of hardworking elves to keep the production line running. And the toy makers aren’t the only elves that Santa needs, other duties such as administration and cleaning will also need taking care of.

It has been estimated that Santa must have around 132,000 elves to account for all of the toy production and other general tasks which need to be taken care of around the workshop.

If we assume Santa’s workshop is based in Lapland, the average cost of one employee – including salary and all other benefits such as pension and insurance – amounts to €53,232 per year.

With a total of 132,000 elves to cover, Santa will be paying out a total of €7,026,624,000 in staff remuneration.

Gas & Electricity

Located in Lapland, Santa’s workshop is sure to get chilly if investment isn’t made into heating the place.

Housing a toy production space, plus living quarters for Santa, Mrs Claus and the 132,000 elves means Santa’s workshop needs to be pretty huge. It has been estimated that Santa’s workshop totals around 5,697,974 m2.

If we calculate the annual energy usage at an estimated rate of 220kWh/m2, this amounts to a total of 1,253,554,280 kWh.

The cost of energy in Finland works out at around 6.67 cent/kWh, which would result in an annual total cost of €83,612,070.48.

Bed & Bunk

Of course it’s not all work and no play at Santa’s workshop. The magical space is also home for Santa, Mrs Claus and the elves – meaning costs such as rent, food, insurance, and –crucially for modern-day elves – WiFi, also need to be taken into account.

In Finland rent averages at around €15.2/m2 per month. With Santa’s workshop taking up 5,697,974 m2 this would bring a monthly rental cost of €86,609,204.80, making an annual rent cost of €1,039,310,457.60.

On average home insurance for this large of a property in Finland would amount to €1,700 per year, while a typical broadband contract would cost around €275.76 per year.

Assuming that Santa is kind and keeps the fridge stocked up with essentials for the elves, which we’re sure the jolly old fellow would do, he would likely spend around €166,980,000 per year to keep the fridge stocked with weekly essentials for everyone, based on the average costs of an essentials grocery shop in Finland.

This brings the total costs of bed and bunk to a total of €1,206,292,433.36 per year.

Caring for the Reindeers

Santa’s reindeer are also an important part of his workshop. Not only are they his beloved pets and friends, but they also play a crucial role in his transportation on Christmas Eve.

If we compare the cost of caring for a reindeer for one year to that of caring for a horse, this would amount to €3407.39 per reindeer. Santa has a total of 8 reindeer, this means a total cost of €27,259.12 to care for all of the reindeers for one year.

Sleigh Maintenance

Of course Santa’s sleigh is the other key element of his Christmas Eve transport. If we compare the cost of maintaining Santa’s sleigh to that of maintaining a car in Finland, we would need to account for insurance, road tax and a katsastus, which is a mandatory annual inspection in Finland.

Typically, the cost of the kastastus amounts to €100 while road tax is around €240 per year. A good insurance deal would likely still cost Santa around €720 per year, resulting in a total sleigh maintenance cost of €1,060 per year.

Suit Upkeep


Of course when the big night arrives Santa wants to look at his best, which means he’ll want to get his famous suit looking shiny and sparkly with a professional clean.

A study into the cost of dry cleaning around the world found that the cost of dry cleaning a suit in Finland averages at €32.84.

Total Cost

Taking into account all of these expenses, the total cost of running Santa’s workshop for one year will amount to a whopping total cost of €44,604,556,855.83.

No expenses spared for Santa when it comes to wishing us all a Merry Christmas! 

Visit Santa’s Workshop

If you want to visit Santa’s workshop in real life you can do with our brand new Father Christmas Experience in Lapland.

This incredible trip includes a private meeting with Father Christmas plus the opportunity to bake cookies with Mrs Claus, and have Santa’s elves collect you from your accommodation – or even from the airport.

As well as the unforgettable meeting with Father Christmas, this festive holiday also includes fun-packed winter activities including husky sledding, snowshoeing, tobogganing and more.

Contact the True Luxury Travel team to discuss booking your perfect festive holiday.



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