Santa is getting ready for his global gift trip to snow-capped Lapland on the edge of the Arctic Circle.
Like last year, its task has been made more difficult by the pandemic. Lucky for everyone, Saint Nick has achieved “Key Worker” status, so there won’t be a need for “Elven Isolation”.
Santa Claus Village is located on the edge of the Arctic Circle, about eight kilometers north of Rovaniemi, the capital of Finnish Lapland.
At this time of year, the sun doesn’t rise until 11 a.m., but that doesn’t stop Santa and his loyal elves from actively busy with their final preparations for Christmas Eve.
Santa says the elves worked hard, while Rudolph was on vacation
“The Christmas preparations are going pretty well right now. There are only a few days until Christmas now, the elves have been working really hard as always,” he said.
With Santa’s list almost complete, it’s now possible to tell if the kids were mean or nice in 2021.
“I think people have been very good for 2021, especially the kids,” he says.
According to the local tourist office Visit Rovaniemi, more than half a million people typically visit the Christmas themed destination every year to meet Santa Claus, play in the snow and get into the festive atmosphere.
That all changed last year, as coronavirus closures and travel restrictions thwarted many people’s travel plans. Just over 11,000 tourists visited last December, including only 1,100 from overseas.
International tourists are back and enjoying the festive atmosphere
“It’s Christmas season, and we’re very happy to be here in Lapland because I’m 48 and it’s my first time here, and I wanted to visit Santa Claus,” said Manuel Perez. , visiting Santa Claus Village in Madrid, Spain with her 8-year-old daughter Olivia.
Santa would like to point out that while families face restrictions this year, households can still have fun together.
“I know there’s been blockages and everything, and people have been in houses together, but I wish people would do more things together. Not to isolate themselves in their own room but to do something. together.”
A busy time for Santa Claus and his little helpers
For those who can’t meet Santa in person, there’s still old-fashioned mail.
In the post office next to the village, Santa’s elves are busy sorting through thousands of letters sent from all over the world.
The post office receives about half a million letters and wish lists every Christmas. At peak times, it can reach over 30,000 letters per day.
‘Elf’ Katja says most mail comes from Finland, Poland, China, Japan, UK and Italy. She says the kids are asking for Lego toys, books, puzzles and other things:
“There were wishes for clothes, for certain clothes, candy that always wishes for candy. And then there was actually, I just read a wish for Santa Claus, where a child wishes the pandemic is ending soon, ”she said.
With all the letters read and gifts wrapped, Santa Claus heads to the snowy forest to meet his trusty reindeer, Rudolph.
“We have a long journey ahead of us, a lot of nice and kind children are waiting for us,” he said as he left on his sled.
Watch the video above to see Santa Claus and his festive preparations in Lapland.