Santa Under Scrutiny

Education & Training with Corcoran Consulting & Coaching

O brother! Or to be seasonal, o bah humbug!

santa. cookiePoor Santa has recently come under attack for being too fat, as well as "promoting obesity, reckless air travel and a general unhealthy lifestyle" according to an Australian doctor who was only partly joking.  Apparently, the busy man should park his sleigh at the end of each street, walk to the homes, and eschew cookies for carrots at each stop.  So what if he works non-stop most of the year managing elf workers and then distributes gifts worldwide in a 24 hour period?  Santa, who influences the behavior of children everywhere when it comes to whether they get toys, socks, or coal for Christmas should now be a model of healthy living too.

Even before Christmas, he should reconsider whether it is healthy for him or his helpers in the mall throughout the world to encourage close contact with small children who hug him, sneeze on him, and leave his beard full of snot...

So Santa is supposed to be an anorexic man in a bubble?  And a role model for the world? Next, he'll be attacked for encouraging people to waste resources by wrapping gifts! If we see a wardrobe change to a green suit, we'll know he has yet another charge to fulfill!

Given some disclosures in 2009, mostly recently the private life of Tiger Woods - it is not surprising that even Santa comes under scrutiny.  Sponsors have dropped Tiger and caused him to regroup in private, but bottom line, is a sports figure a moral compass for people?  If people drink Gatorade or wear a Tag Heuer watch, are they more likely to cheat on their spouses?  If they cling to an overweight, cookie-loving Santa, will they abandon yogurt and salads for eggnog and a roll of nut bread at every meal?

In our society, public figures are given a whole lot more influence in people's private life than they probably have.  Having said that - and bringing it down to real estate agents - people expect those they deal with in their private lives to act with integrity.  Rightly or wrongly, they may make judgments about your business ethics and personal integrity based on what they may have heard about your private life. (Oh, we could talk once about social media postings again!) If you are overweight, they may be biased though they wouldn't admit it.

Whether you're talking Tiger or Santa or any other public figure whose flaws make the 11:00 news, what a cardboard figure does should have limited impact on how you live your life, but how you actually do live it may impact your business!  With 2010 just around the corner, it's time to  assess your life and goals.

Comments (53)

Charlene Reinauer

Good artical. One small green tip that was hinted at in this article was wasting resources by wrapping gifts. On that note last year my daughters who are very "green" made dozens of reusable cloth gift bags which we will now use every Christmas to "wrap" our gifts for each other each year. Something that I would like to see catch on more so less wrapping paper, which is quickly torn off and thrown away, is used, bought, made. It has taken awhile for cloth bags to catch on in the grocery stores, so I am sure this may take awhile as well. But a very good green tip for Christmas I think. Just my opinion. 

Dec 21, 2009 02:59 AM
Karen Rittenhouse - Greensboro, NC
Real Estate Investor

People have a lot more free time than I do if they can worry about Santa's infuluence on diet...

At any rate, we are scrutinized on many levels, verbal and non-verbal and we do need to care about our public persona.  If your income depends upon the public, you'd better care what the public thinks of you (Tiger).

Dec 21, 2009 03:00 AM
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Bob, Santa has it pretty tough as it is, what with global warming (his North Pole home is vanishing) with out asking him to change his ways!


Dec 21, 2009 03:13 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

If we put Santa on a diet, do we have to change 'Twas the Night Before Christmas?  No more, "his belly shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly."

I think that the public figures don't have quite as much influence as some would like to think.

Dec 21, 2009 03:31 AM
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

Bob... I find this funny.  When you think how old *santa* is... we should all look this good (even if he is over weight) at his age.  Thanks for sharing.

valerie osterhoudt

Dec 21, 2009 03:32 AM
Tara Jacobi

Dispite his weight Santa is always hard at work in our office!

Dec 21, 2009 03:39 AM
Dianne Hicks
Realty ONE Group - Poway, CA

Thanks for great post. Well, Santa has been around for a looooong time so I guess his health isn't issue. Maybe they should refocus and say when your good, you live longer (lol).

Dec 21, 2009 03:42 AM
Liz Whittingham
RE/MAX Results Realty - Maple Ridge, BC
Performances not Promises

Awesome post! Santa has been great for all these years just the way he is and we hope our Grand Children continue to accept him as he is. As one of the golf professionals quoted about Tiger... "It is not my business".

Dec 21, 2009 04:25 AM
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Bob,  thanks for a witty and well written post.  Already have some 2010 goals lined up.  Hope your Holiday Season is the best ever !

Dec 21, 2009 05:39 AM
Sonja Patterson
Keller Williams - BV - College Station, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Funny post, Bob!! Thanks for the laugh!   :)  Yes, more people are watching our actions than we realize.  Of course, it is important that we are in private what we are in public. 

Dec 21, 2009 05:43 AM
George Wilson
Lincolnton, NC - Lincolnton, NC


Great post! The next thing to target Santa will probably come from PETA on his treatment of the reindeer; putting them into harms way by having them fly through airline flight paths and land on slippery roof tops!

As real estate agents we have to be aware of the PC language in our business but do we really have to take it so far as to attack this "jolly old elf". Enough leave our jolly ol' St. Nick alone after all he has lived on his diet plan for a 1000 years by now and has no problem getting around.

Merry Christmas to All and to all have a joyous, safe New Year.

Dec 21, 2009 05:55 AM
Joe Colón, Jr.
Jenny L Colón, PC - Chesapeake, VA

Merry Christmas Bob,

   This IS a great post. First, I echo the importance of a 2010 goal sheet and second, what the heck is the mater with a chubby Santa?!?  Personally I think it adds to his cuddly charm and Grandfather-like persona.  Great way to begin a fun discussion.  Have a great day!

Dec 21, 2009 07:00 AM
Joe Colón, Jr.
Jenny L Colón, PC - Chesapeake, VA

Merry Christmas Bob,

   This IS a great post. First, I echo the importance of a 2010 goal sheet and second, what the heck is the mater with a chubby Santa?!?  Personally I think it adds to his cuddly charm and Grandfather-like persona.  Great way to begin a fun discussion.  Have a great day!

Dec 21, 2009 07:00 AM
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

I can't believe anyone is picking on Santa...there are so many millions of him.


And they'd risk ticking off the  AARP....the Association of Americans Receiving Presents.


Really now:  Don't stand on Superman's cape.  Don't pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and

"Don't mess around with Slim."

Dec 21, 2009 07:51 AM
Bob Corcoran
Corcoran Consulting & Coaching - Swansea, IL

I appreciate your overwhelming response to this post. Debunking Santa is ridiculous - better we spend our time emulating the spirit of giving and keeping our own selves on track!

Dec 21, 2009 08:42 AM
Sara Goss GMAC Real Estate - League City, TX
Realtor - Houston Bay Area, Texas

As an imaginary figure who brings gifts for good children, Santa can carry those extra pounds and be larger than life in other ways (huge beard, red suit, commands reindeer to drive his sleigh, etc). He leaves children joyful, in awe and some even a little scared by him into being "good" . . . You better watch out! Don't mess with the myth, it works!

As a real estate agent bringing "good" into my transactions and interactions with people . . . well that goes without saying!

Happy Holidays all around!

Dec 21, 2009 01:07 PM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Agent Retired

Congrats Bob on the feature!  I think it's about integrity.  You either have it or you don't.  Santa can't have integrity doing a Weight Watchers commercial that's for sure! 

Dec 22, 2009 03:19 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Santa does appear to be a Red Stater and no doubt his raindeer emissions are contributing to the shrinking polar ice cap.

Dec 22, 2009 03:47 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Bob, this one made me laugh, even though it does include an important message.  Hope your holdidays are fun!

Dec 26, 2009 07:16 AM
Bob Corcoran
Corcoran Consulting & Coaching - Swansea, IL

Thanks for all your comments. Happy holidays!

Dec 27, 2009 12:41 PM