The line for the Arctic Circle goes directly through the village.

SANTA CLAUS VILLAGE...... Yes, Lapland extends into Norway and Sweden, but Finland was way ahead in marketing the place. And, they had taken every opportunity to lure Europeans to Santa Claus Village. Most, if not all of the guests, believe that crossing the Arctic Circle takes years away from your mental age. If you read the brochures, which most certainly must be true, you'll learn exactly why Santa lives and works here.

The reason why the Santa Claus Village is located on the Arctic Circle is because the exceptionally thin Earth's crust in places allows meddling with the course of time. Indeed, it is the Santa Claus office that controls the velocity of the revolving Earth, thereby enabling Santa to visit every home at Christmas. Now you know why time sometimes feels so slow when you want it to go faster.


Tourism began in the Arctic Circle in 1950 when a small log cabin was built to house Eleanor Roosevelt and welcome her to Santa's village. It's come a long way, baby, but the cabin is still there. In the 1980's Santa Claus moved his office from his hidden residence in Korvatunutri (Ear Mountain, where that is?) to set up business in the Arctic Circle. It's a thriving business with half a million visitors a year. Many are day-trippers from the UK. Unbelievable!

Santa's village is the ultimate in Christmas shopping. And, a lot of the treasures are made in Lapland, or at least Scandinavia. Elves sort letters to Santa in the official Santa post office. The place has received more than 13 million letters, mostly from the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland and Finland, but from all over the planet as well. The daily average is about 32,000 letters. Just in case you want to hear from up north, the elves reply to everyone who includes a return address. And, most importantly of all, the big man's correct address is Santa Claus, 96930 Arctic Circle. But, if you just write to Santa Claus, Finland, it should reach the proper destination.


Naturally, it was an easy trip from Rovaniemi. The bus from the train station went directly there about every hour. My visit was a week before schools in much of Europe released for the holidays. So, I missed the crowds and had an extremely pleasant experience. No hustle. No bustle. No lines, except the one for the Arctic Circle. The following week promised to be a completely different experience.

Everyone, of course, had to visit the man in red. It was an unusually dark walk to get to his office. The huge clock he used to slow time was more frightening than merry. But, Santa was just as jolly as expected. Everyone who sits with him gets their photograph (and video) taken. That's free. But, if you want to purchace them, the cheapest photo cost 25 Euros. I guess you have to pay for postage from Santa somehow.


Copyright 2009 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.