Here’s what we know about Santa:
Physical Description: He’s a plump, older man with white hair, a white beard and a coordinating white handlebar mustache, who doesn’t seem to shave or get his hair cut very often. He also likes red; he is most often seen wearing a red coat, hat and trousers, all with white trim (someone else probably does his laundry), and a belt and boots, both black. Often, he has rosy cheeks, but this may be due to many factors: (1) his over-exerting himself to squeeze through all those chimneys in such a short period of time; (2) he may be oxygen-deprived from living in the North Pole; or (3) he could be straining his heart severely because of his excessive weight. It’s also possible that too much brandy or rum in the eggnog may have something to do with it.
Enneagram Analysis: It’s not advisable to assess a person’s Enneagram type from his or her physical appearance alone, but there are some clues here. Santa obviously likes red, white and black, and he wears the same outfit every year. This consistency in dress style suggests that he is somewhat conserving – that is, he likes tradition – but otherwise doesn’t pay a great deal of attention to his public image. This lack of concern about his physical persona suggests he is not likely one of the three image types: Enneagram Two, Three or Four. If he were, Santa would be far more likely to get shaves and haircuts before appearing in public, or at least he would do something to update his appearance every few years.
Interests: He likes to travel (Santa Claus is coming to town) and is keen on children and animals, especially reindeer. Children and reindeer like him so much, it’s possible he might be one of those sincere adults who likes both children and animals better than their adult counterparts. Santa seems to be an effective, facilitative leader. This conclusion is based on the fact that he organizes all of those elves throughout the year, and we’ve never heard one complaint about his leadership style, nor have there ever been rumors of conflict among the elves. There was one incident among the reindeer in which the reindeer picked on poor Rudolph because he was different (red-nosed), but Santa mediated that situation immediately (Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?). Santa Claus also likes the outdoors; otherwise, he would not ride in an open sleigh in the freezing cold (Oh, what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh).
Enneagram Analysis: Santa’s interests give us a great deal of useful information about what his Enneagram style might be. His liking of reindeer and children (especially “good” ones) may be an example of his tendency to merge with positive people and pleasant objects. If so, this suggests that Santa might be an Enneagram Nine. His facilitative leadership style and his adeptness in maintaining harmony (and mediating conflict when it does arise) are also traits common among Nines. In fact, Nines are often called The Mediator, and Santa certainly is that (Then all the reindeer loved him [Rudolph] as they shouted out with glee….)! In addition, many Nines love the outdoors – although most prefer warmer weather – because nature feels peaceful, even blissful to them.
Personality Traits: Santa is jolly, smiles a great deal, likes to eat (especially cookies and milk), and is a very likable, accessible fellow. Anyone can write him at the North Pole through the local post office, and he sometimes responds with a return letter or just the present you asked for in your letter to Santa. He loves to give presents, but he seems to do better when you give him a list rather than having to figure out what you want on his own.
He laughs a great deal and is particularly fond of the words, “Ho, Ho, Ho.” We also know he is a good listener; millions of people sit on his lap every year, and Santa listens attentively to each and every one of them. Santa can also be a bit judgmental, looking for children who have been “nice” all year rather than “naughty” for his present giving (He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for heaven’s sake).
Enneagram Analysis: Santa’s strong affability also suggests he is an Enneagram Nine, as do his frequent smiles and excellent listening skills. Although Enneagram Twos like to give presents, most Twos neither need nor want a wish list from you. They simply know – or think they know – what you want. Nines, by contrast, often like doing things for others, but prefer that you tell them what you want or write down what it is so they can do it or get it for you. If Santa is a Nine, he might be a self-preservation Nine, a subtype of Nine known by the name “appetite.” Santa seems to have an unquenchable taste or appetite for cookies and milk, hence his big belly.
Santa is a bit judgmental as he makes his present-giving decisions based on who is “naughty” and who is “nice.” Nines are not externally judgmental, even though they often do have strong opinions about people and events, so it is possible that Santa is a Nine with a One wing, because Ones are more critical of others and more vocal about these opinions than are Nines.
Some curious things about Santa: Santa Claus has several aliases, such as Saint Nicolas, Father Christmas, or Kris Kringle. Sometimes he simply goes by Santa.
It is also unclear as to whether Santa is married or not. There have been sightings of Mrs. Claus, although very few photographs exist of her. In addition, Santa has been known to be involved with many mothers (I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus). As a result, we don’t know if Santa is currently married or not. Perhaps he simply enjoys romance on the road.
Enneagram Analysis: Considering these odd Santa facts, it seems dear Santa may have some secrets. This might suggest that Santa could be an Enneagram Five who compartmentalizes his life, maintains his privacy, and keeps secrets. However, everyone knows all of Santa’s aliases, just as we all know he’s kissing a lot of “mommies,” so what may be questionable behavior is certainly not secret behavior. Maybe Santa just loves everyone (like the good Nine that he is) and needs to be in so many places simultaneously that there are actually multiple Santas, all Nines, out there doing all this good work during the holidays!
So Santa Claus (aka Kris Kringle) is absolutely, definitely, positively an Enneagram Nine. Or is he?
Thanks to my brother, Martin Snapp, for suggesting I write a blog about Santa and his type. Other than that, I take full responsibility for all the facts, opinions, and conclusions in this blog.
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, author of eight Enneagram books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications. TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | email@example.com