Around this time every year, an age-old question is dusted off and asked again﹣“how does Santa Claus do it?”
For the month of December, Santa is every kid’s best friend. It takes a friendly, warm person to listen to children share their deepest Christmas wishes (and help them feel safe enough to invite a large man to drop into their house in the middle of the night.) Santa must also be a dreamer - someone who wants to make others happy, think outside the box, and embrace the magic of the holiday season.
As a personality platform, we thought it important to invite Saint Nick to discover a little more about his own personality through our online assessments. His results have a lot to say:
When you dig deeper into what each of these means, the key to Santa’s success becomes progressively clearer.
Santa shows many strengths that often come naturally to a DISC Type Is or Encourager in the DISC model.
He’s naturally accepting of others, despite how the world sees or treats them, as evidenced by his friendship with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Santa saw through the initial shock of a glowing red nose and befriended Rudolph. He did something more powerful than just telling the other reindeer to “knock it off”: He asked Rudolph to lead the most important flight of every year and led to his immortalization in the history books of modern Christmas-tale.
He’s social and outgoing. If he weren’t, how would he be able to put up with so many elves? Some reports estimate there are more than 85,000 elves. Who’s in charge of it all? Santa. While there’s surely some sort of hierarchy within the elf workforce, ultimately, Santa is the one who has to socialize with them all day, on top of his own responsibilities. When December rolls around, Santa has to carry on conversations with kids all around the world at virtually every moment of the day, which wouldn’t be possible without his extroverted qualities.
He’s an idealistic dreamer, which is easily shown in his promise to visit all the children of the world in one night. That’s over 2 billion children in 195 countries… Santa is a radical optimist with a big heart. He sets his sights in the biggest dream and trusts that it will all work out.
His idealism is matched by his unstoppable energy. When he’s not flying around the world, popping in and out of houses with gifts, he’s helping come up with new ideas for next year, meeting with elves to discuss logistics, and socializing with the reindeer. He’s been doing this for quite some time, and yet, his energy doesn’t seem to be faltering. Though, it is also possible that the sugar in all those cookies he eats on the night of Christmas Eve helps provide him with the buzzing vitality he needs for the next year.
He is encouraging and supportive of children’s wishes. While the looming threat of a coal-stained stocking is likely enough to get children to behave, Santa accompanies it with love and encouragement, which is likely how he stays in their good graces, even while there’s an undertone of possible punishment (a system set up by the elves, of course).
Santa’s personality can also be viewed through the lens of an Enneagram 2. There are a few key characteristics that make him a quality Caregiver.
He is always eager to help others. Whether he’s making suggestions and offering advice to elves, building in the workshop a few times a week, or giving gifts that leave a lasting impact on kids, Santa is always looking for an opportunity to lend a hand where he can.
He is one of the friendliest people on the planet - there’s even a song about “Jolly Old Saint Nicholas”! He welcomes and listens to children from all over the world, even when they’re not thrilled to be sitting for a picture with him. No matter what the situation, his big smile and sparkling eyes immediately let someone know they’ve got a friend in Santa.
He stays incredibly perceptive of others’ needs, which helps keep Christmas and the North Pole afloat. Without his sensitivity and attention, the holiday season would likely be a lot more stressful and much less rewarding.
His loving attitude inspires the rest of us to be a little nicer and open around the holidays. He cares so much about other people that he’s devoted his whole life to spreading joy and happiness.
The 16-personality model offers even more insight into Santa’s ESFP Entertainer personality.
He’s spontaneous, which is obvious if we’re paying attention. Sure, he has a fairly standard routine every Christmas Eve. But what does he do in between every December 24th? There’s a reason he doesn’t advertise it - he has no idea. There’s no plan in place. Santa just goes with the flow and figures things out as they happen. And let’s be honest - based on what we’ve learned about his personality so far, the elves are probably handling most of the Christmas logistics anyways.
He loves to be the center of attention. Whether people are forming a line to talk to him or stopping him to take a picture, Santa is always ready to entertain a crowd, which isn’t hard considering he’s a big man with a long white beard and a red suit who yells “Merry Christmas!” in crowded places.
He is able to connect with many types of people. He is able to transcend cultural differences and adapt to fit each scenario, which helps him meaningfully reach everyone in a unique way.
He is very sensing- and experience-oriented. Santa doesn’t contemplate complicated problems, but rather he is a man of action, regularly out participating in making others happy. He is more likely to act before he thinks through a situation, which is likely how he learned that reindeer could fly.
Santa has a unique blend of personality traits that have kept him successful as the figurehead of gift-giving at Christmas time. His friendly nature, open mind, and energetic spirit help make the holiday season the joyful time it is. While the practical questions about how Mr. Claus is physically able to deliver untold volumes of presents around the world are still hidden deep in the magic of Christmas for only him, the elves, and Mrs. Claus to know, we’re glad to have a bit more insight into why the holiday season comes so naturally to him.