December 25, 2008

Fiscally, Santa is not in the red

Santa Claus, for his trademark laugh, nose-poking poses and marketplace counseling services, made about $8 million this year, U.S. accountants said.

With figures gleaned from the International Council of Shopping Centers -- which counts about 1,000 enclosed malls in the United States -- it's likely Santa worked 400,000 hours this year, reported Thursday.

Unfortunately for Santa, his image cannot be copyrighted.

Assuming we could make the case he owns his reputation, he's really given it up to the public domain, Steve Weinberg, a shareholder with the Greenberg Traurig law firm said.

Santa also has about $7.78 million in expenses, mostly from gift giveaways, said.

To his benefit, however, that qualifies the Christmas icon for free shipping, the report said. That's a sizeable benefit, given the jolly old elf's guarantee of overnight delivery.