Santa’s hefty workshop bill

If you think your Christmas bill is getting a little high this year, spare a thought for Santa. In real life it would cost Santa $75.3 billion (NZD) to run his workshop each year. That’s the figure that True Luxury Travel has come up with after some festive number crunching.

In their calculations of how much it would cost to provide presents for the world’s children, here’s what they took into account. (All figures are in New Zealand dollars).

Toy production

  • Approximately 900,000,000 children around the world celebrate Christmas (that’s 45% of the world)
  • Children receive, on average, 16 presents each (don’t let my kids see that!)
  • The estimated production cost of one toy was $4.26
  • Therefore, toy production would cost $61.34 billion

Elves’ wages

  • It has been estimated that Santa would need 132,000 elves to make the toys (yes, people have calculated this stuff)
  • The average cost of an employee in Lapland, including wages and benefits is $89,928 (anyone else keen to work in Lapland?)
  • That brings the total wages bill to $11.87 billion

Power bill

  • Those with high IQs and lots of time on their hands have worked out that in order to produce all those presents and house the elves would require a space around 5.7 million square metres. For comparison, that’s around 570 rugby pitches!
  • Using the cost of energy in Finland, that gives an annual energy bill of $141 million

Bed and breakfast

  • Assuming Santa is renting his massive workshop and elf accommodation, the annual rent for his workshop would be $1.76 billion (or in Auckland, about a gazillion dollars)
  • The annual grocery bill would come to $282 million to feed the elves
  • Not forgetting eight other important members of the team – looking after Santa’s reindeer would cost $46,000

Other factors included in the calculations were property insurance, internet, sleigh maintenance, and suit drycleaning (cos Santa’s got to get that chimney soot out somehow).

Do you have any Christmas budgeting tips for families? Share them in the comments below.

This article was written by Julie Scanlon, Editor for Kidspot NZ. Sources include

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  1. dawnblyth 06/01/2019 at 10:39 pm

    I think we can too easily get caught up in the commercial aspect of Christmas. What my family try to is a small gift each and then we enjoy good food and great company. For us, Christmas is about spending time with our family who live out of town.

  2. Bevik1971 06/01/2019 at 9:39 pm

    We try not to make the present part a big deal for Christmas, it’s also our daughter’s birthday on Boxing Day so that’s more important. I don’t think getting stressed and anxious and borrowing money to buy presents is good. Its more about being with family etc 😍

  3. Shelz69 06/01/2019 at 12:59 pm

    16 presents on average, wow I am way below that. I usually go with approximately 6 gifts and some little cheap things for their stocking. I think my budgeting tips would be to buy things throughout the year when on special and this year I joined the warehouse xmas club and put a little aside each week. It was only a small amount but it built up and it was nice spending it at the end of the year especially as you get a discount.

  4. Alezandra 05/01/2019 at 11:02 pm

    This was a good read. Can you imagine if this was a real company? The average of 16 gifts seems a lot though. 282 million grocery bill is just staggering! Hehe 🙂

  5. Shorrty4life1 03/01/2019 at 6:29 pm

    I found this a very interesting read. 16 presents each on average. Looking at this it does actually sound about right I guess. Crazy but yes true.

  6. kymmage 31/12/2018 at 2:10 pm

    I definitely make use of the September school holiday sales and labour weekend too. If you have a secure hiding spot you could even do boxing day sales for the next year!

    In the above though I kinda think 16 presents aren’t from Santa… Surely just one is? The rest are from me and hubby and our hard earnt money.

  7. felicity beets 23/12/2018 at 5:11 pm

    Wow 16 presents is quite a lot – I prefer doing something like going to the zoo instead of too many presents. I also think buying presents throughout the year is good too and you can put more thought into it rather than a last minute rush right before Christmas.

  8. Micht 21/12/2018 at 7:27 pm

    My tip is something i have put into practice the last 2 years and its worked great for us this year especially.. i wait for the mid year toy sales at warehouse and toyworld and put stuff on laybuy…by october its paid off( u get 3 months) and i hide them till christmas time… and this year is tough financially now but the kids dont know or feel it at all… which is great…plus toy prices being reduced meant i paid alot less than their worth..

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