Where Does Santa Live?

A reindeer with sleigh waiting outside Santa Claus' house a starry night. There is a big bag of christmas presents in the sleigh.

Where does Santa live? It is a common question with a common answer – or is it? Ask any child and they will immediately tell you that Santa lives in the North Pole with Mrs. Claus and his reindeer. But there are actually several places that claim to be THE North Pole where Santa lives. So which one is the true home of Santa Claus? Those letters to Santa must get to the right place so Santa’s elves can make sure you receive all of the gifts on your Christmas list. Fortunately, there is good news! The research has been done to determine the true home of Santa. Keep reading to find out about the places that claim to be the location of Santa’s home and to find out which one is truly where Santa lives.

A reindeer with sleigh waiting outside Santa Claus' house a starry night. There is a big bag of christmas presents in the sleigh.

First, Let’s Go back to the Beginning

When researching where Santa lives, one must first look at the origin of Santa Claus. And for this, we must go back in history to St. Nicholas. St. Nicholas was born in the 3rd century in a village known as Patara. This is located in modern day Turkey. He was buried in the cathedral in which he served in Myra (again, this is modern day Turkey). The purpose of this article is not to discuss the evolution of St. Nicholas into Santa Claus, but no discussion of where Santa lives is complete without St. Nicholas. Now Turkey is a far cry from the North Pole. However, it is the spirit of St. Nicholas and what he represents that transformed into the magical being we call Santa Claus. So Myra (or present day Turkey) is certainly not where Santa Claus lives. However, it is still important to know the history, and Myra does hold a special place in the story of Santa Claus. The life led by St. Nicholas in this region of the world played a critical role in molding Santa into the man he is today – one of giving, joy and peace.

More Than One North Pole

As we move into modern day times, the North Pole is agreed upon by most as Santa’s main residence. However, there is technically more than one North Pole on the map. For example, there is a North Pole in Alaska. And the name of this town was actually inspired by Santa Claus and Christmas. This area was first purchased in the 1940’s by Bob and Bernice Davis. This couple was looking for a large plot on which to live and build, and they secured a 160 acre section of land. This was obviously quite a chunk of land, and as the years passed they sold small pieces of it to other neighbors as they came looking for a place to build. Oddly enough, this section of Alaska is also a few degrees colder than its surrounding areas, giving it a cold and icy aura.

In the 1950’s, the entire chunk of land was purchased by a development company who had the vision of naming the town the North Pole. The plan was to attract toy manufacturers to the region so that their toy products would actually be delivered from the North Pole itself. This was a potentially bright idea, but as it turns out the location was too remote to become a major manufacturing town and their vision of toys galore did not take hold. However, a small trading post in the town did take to the idea and claimed to be the home of Santa Claus. As this story unfolds, one can quickly see how this is not the true North Pole from which Santa hails. So while this is an interesting tale of vision and business, it is not one that leads to Santa’s front door.

home1During this same time period of the 1940’s – 1950’s, a New York businessman by the name of Julian Riess was inspired by his young daughter to build an actual replica of Santa’s workshop in Lake Placid, New York. The specific location in Lake Placid was none other than North Pole, New York. Relying on engineering and technology, Santa’s Workshop in this North Pole managed to stay cold year-round and attracted many visitors. Over the years, this attraction has declined in popularity, but it surely merits a mention when discussing where Santa lives. Again, this is clearly not Santa’s North Pole, but it did provide fun and play for families over the years.

Beyond the North Pole

Ah, but the quest for Santa’s home continues. On to Finland! This country’s most northern province of Lapland had been associated with being Santa’s home dating as far back as the 1920’s when a local radio host claimed that Santa lived in the province’s mountainous region of Korvatunturi. Then during World War II, Lapland’s capital of Rovaniemi was destroyed. When it was rebuilt after the war, the streets were designed in a way that spread out in the fashion of reindeer antlers. On a trip to visit the rebuilt capital, Eleanor Roosevelt requested to see Santa while in the Arctic Circle. Since this was a request from the First Lady, it was of course met and Santa’s Village was born! While this spot on the map does not sport the name ‘North Pole’, it does claim to be the home of Santa Claus all year long. Once again, while this city serves as a wonderful spot for people to visit and to experience a Santa-like home, this is certainly not the true residence of Mr. & Mrs. Claus.

Santa Claus Taking Letter from Mailbox Full of Mail. Horizontal composition, isolated on white hand and arm only.

So Where Does Santa Really Live?

The common belief that Santa lives in the North Pole is true. But it is not a North Pole that we can visit in New York or in Alaska. Yes, Santa does live in the North Pole that is located at the top of the Earth – the northernmost spot that is located at the top of the axis that is our planet. That is the geographical location. But let us not forget that Santa is a magical man. He lives in a world of mystery and wonder that is not for our eyes. His exact house and workshop are in a location in the North Pole that is unbeknownst to us common folk. Were we to even get close to sneaking a peek at Santa’s workshop, magic would prevail and we would not be able to find him or Mrs. Claus.

And would you really want to see it? Give that one a long, hard thought. While it would be wonderful, part of the joy of the season is in our minds as we dream of Santa and his elves in the North Pole preparing the sleigh for Christmas Eve. If we were to walk through the front door and see it for ourselves our imaginations would suffer. And this is just too important to Santa. He understands that we need our imaginations – especially at Christmas. We need to use our hearts and our minds to make the season merry and bright. He would never take that away from us. But fear not, little ones. Simply address that letter to Santa to ‘The North Pole’ and Christmas magic will ensure it gets delivered. We do not need an address when it comes to communicating with Father Christmas. He always knows what’s on our list!