1              Off The Rich List

Until 2006, Santa Claus was top of the Forbes Fictional Rich List – it was reckoned that he must have unlimited funds to be able to give toys to all the children in the world each year. Forbes speculated that the reason for his philanthropy is that he is tormented by his infinite wealth, and wants to give it away. On the other hand, they also noted that his elves had to put up with low wages, lack of health care and the harsh ways of ‘Claws’, including exploiting under-age children who had been ‘naughty’. They also noted his dark side: gifts of coal to some children, and ill-treatment of reindeer.

Santa had to be removed from the list in 2006 – ‘Daddy’ Warbucks (from Annie) replaced him – because Forbes was ‘bombarded’ by letters from outraged children insisting that Santa is real. They said: ‘We don’t claim to have settled the ongoing controversy concerning Claus’ existence, but after taking into account the physical evidence -toys delivered, milk and cookies devoured – we felt it was safer to remove him from consideration’.


2              Santa Claus has the right idea: visit people once a year. – Victor Borge


3              Santa Claus has his own postal code in Canada: HOH OHO.


4              Until the mid-19th century, Santa Claus always rode a donkey.


5              According to tradition, St. Nicholas restored to life 3 small boys who had been cut up and pickled in a tub to be served as bacon.


6              The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.


7              Benjamin Franklin nearly killed himself in 1750 trying to electrocute a turkey for Christmas dinner.


7              I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying ‘Toys not included’.


8              Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is a girl.


9              During the Second World War, cutting down trees for Christmas was forbidden – this was widely ignored.


10           One acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen each day to sustain 18 people.


11           The world’s heaviest snowfall in a 24-hour period is 190 cm on April 15, 1921 in Silver Lake, Colorado.


12           No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible. – Voltaire


13           New York gets 15 times as much snow as the South Pole.


15           A snowflake that falls on a glacier in central Greenland can take 200,000 years  to reach the sea