Newsmaker: Santa Claus
Published 21/12/2015 | 02:30
It's the busiest week of the year for the jolly man in red. He has a lengthy list of orders due for delivery on Friday from demanding clients in multiple markets worldwide. And they won't be happy if he misses his deadline.
Little is known about his operations. We know he's registered in Lapland, but it's not clear if that's for tax purposes, access to talent (it seems to have an abundance of hard-working elves) or simply because he favours the chilly climate and dramatic snowy landscape. Given that he operates in so many different countries, it seems odd that he hasn't established satellite offices.
Given his notoriously shy public persona, however, it's possible that he has and he's simply keeping a low profile.
And as he's able to tell who's been naughty or nice or whether you're sleeping or not, it seems only logical that he would have offices throughout the world to pin those details down in a cost-effective manner.
Speaking of cost, he doesn't file accounts, so we know little about his profit and loss, or debt levels, if any.
He trades in the love and adoration of his clients (lucky him), which, in profit terms, is difficult to tax, but virtually nothing is known about the source of his income or his overheads.
Employee numbers also remain a mystery, but he must be a fair employer as he never seems to publicly recruit staff.
And for such a high-profile individual, you never get a tell-all story from any ex-employees, or leaks about working conditions which one assumes, particularly at this time of the year, must be very difficult given the inherent pressures.
So who is Santa Claus? He would be appalled at our insinuation that he runs his operation like a business. Because beneath the roly-poly, scarlet-wearing ho-ho-ho exterior, beats the heart of a saint.
Little is known of the historical St Nicholas, but his enduring generosity and willingness to ensure the dreams of boys and girls around the world are fulfilled have left him with legions of fans.
He's fairly old. He was born during the third century in the village of Patara, in what is now the southern coast of Turkey, so we suspect his beard has been grey for quite a while.
He was of wealthy stock, but his parents died when he was young and he came into an inheritance. With that money, it is said that he helped the needy, the sick and the suffering.
And if, per chance, there are any boys and girls reading these pages, it won't be long now before he stops by. Ho ho ho.