Let’s be clear on one thing: If you don’t like Christmas, don’t move to Santa Claus, Indiana. If you love elves, reindeer, Christmas trees and Christmas lights, this might be the hometown for you. This is where Santa spends his off-season; it’s the real second home for the real Santa Claus. Don’t believe us? Just ask the local kids. Much like homeowners in the Northeast purchase second homes in Florida, Santa’s second home is Santa Claus, Indiana. When he moved here, he brought Christmas with him.
Kris Kringle can be found almost anywhere in this town located 3,585 miles from the North Pole. He loves it here, and if you love Christmas, you will too. There are around 2,500 people living in Santa Claus that embrace the Christmas season all year round. Many locals keep their Christmas decorations up permanently.
“Since I have Christmas all year long, perhaps Christmas isn’t quite as special on just that single day as it might be for other people,” one local told The Chicago Tribune a few years back. “But I like it that way. It’s not that it is worse or boring. I just get to enjoy it more.”
Some homeowners thought for sure they’d get sick of Christmas after living in Santa Claus, but for some reason, the spirit of the season is so joyous, that rarely happens.
The town was originally going to be called Santa Fe, but since there was already a Santa Fe, Indiana, the U.S. Postal Service rejected the German settlers’ request.
According to the town’s official history, one Christmas Eve in the mid-1800’s, the settlers were at yet another meeting trying to come up with a name for their town. When church bells rang, one excited child yelled out, “It’s Santa Claus!” That prompted one of the town’s elders to suggest that they should just call the town Santa Claus. Everyone agreed excitedly, and that was that.
Over a century and a half later, the town is a tourist haven. Streets have names like Carol Drive, Candy Cane Lane, and Sleigh Bell Drive. From May to October, over a million tourists visit this town which features the Holiday World amusement park. The park is closed on Christmas Day, because Santa is a bit too busy doing other things on December 25th.
The children will tell you that the jolly old St. Nick who spends his time in their town is not just some fake imposter. He’s the real Santa. He likes to play golf. They explain that their parents even golf with him. They get worried if their mom or dad beats Santa at golf.
Locals report that they feel infected with Christmas spirit. They say there are no grinches in their town. One big plus about living in Santa Claus? You will never have to worry about your HOA getting upset with you mid-January when your Christmas lights are still on display.