‘I wish it could be Christmas everyday’, so sang Wizzard back in 1973, and indeed, it’s a pretty appealing notion if you don’t think about it too much.
For while at least, I think I’d be happy living out my days playing board games, watching TV specials and chomping my way through industrial levels of Quality Street.
But after a while – and I say this as a very Christmassy person – it all might start to feel a little cloying, with even Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas inevitably losing its sparkle.
However, for the good people of North Pole, Alaska – population circa 2,700 people – it really is Christmas every day, with the small city looking like something out of a Netflix Christmas movie no matter what the season.
Located an approximate 15-minute drive away from Fairbanks, the coldest city in Alaska’s interior region, North Pole remains a sparkling winter wonderland whether you pay a visit on Halloween, Easter Sunday or the Fourth of July.
The town is festooned throughout with jolly decorations, festive murals and – naturally – a 42ft statue of Santa himself, overlooking a ‘sleigh parking zone’. This endless Christmas cheer is reflected in the street names, with residents strolling around Santa Claus Lane, Mistletoe Lane and Kris Kringle Drive.
All lamps and posts bear candy cane striping, even at the McDonald’s Drive-Thru, while the brilliantly named Polar Expresso provides all your caffeine needs. Needless to say, there’s an absolutely gigantic Christmas tree.
@burgennei And thats on living in North Pole🎄 #pov #merrychristmas #santa #alaska #welcometowonderland #EasyDIY ♬ original sound – Burgenne_I
The most famous attraction has to be the Santa Claus House, which has been welcoming guests for some 65 years.
Here, you can pretty much buy anything Christmassy you can think of – from snow globes to nutcrackers – and even get the chance to check out Santa’s workshop, complete with a handy map of the world.
The big man himself is of course here, listening to the wishes of countless children for many generations. After checking out various TikTok vids of him in action, I’d confidently describe him as being the real deal.
Over at the adjoining Antler Academy, visitors can pet reindeers named after Santa’s most important Christmas Eve helpers, taking selfies with Prancer, Dancer and the rest of the gang.
Every single year, North Pole’s post office receives hundreds of thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus, with the ZIP code 99705 given as Santa’s very own home address.
A dedicated community program also responds to letters sent to 1 Santa Claus Lane, an address marked out with a permanent candy cane pole.
As reported by Travel Alaska, more than 400,000 letters are delivered to ‘Santa Claus, North Pole, Alaska’ every year, with community volunteers working as hard as elves to respond to all those who write in.
In one TikTok vid, local teacher Lindsay Colleen Saun, who attended North Pole Middle School as a kid, recalled how, back in the eighth grade, she and her fellow classmates ‘answered Santa letters from all over the world for a month’.
@lindsaycolleensaunders The North Pole is real and it’s only 15 miles from my house #alaska #northpolealaska #santa #christmas ♬ original sound – Lindsay Colleen Saun
Christmas magic leaks into every aspect of life in North Pole, from Roller Derby (the North Pole Babes in Toyland (NPBT) athletes use festive skater names) to hospitality and the Hotel North Pole, where lucky guests can enjoy cookies and storytime in the beautifully decorated Santa Suite.
Christmas also plays a part in the city’s politics, with a man by the name of Santa Claus having actually been elected to the North Pole Council back in 2015.
Born Thomas Patrick O’Connor, Claus legally changed his name in 2005, and could even be seen wearing a red velvet costume during his campaign, as reported by The Japan Times.
As a long-time advocate for promoting legislation and services that help at-risk children, Claus reportedly believed his name change to be ‘a valuable tool for developing legislation to protect children’. We think the man himself would approve.
@jennyc727 Feeling the Christmas spirit in North Pole, Alaska #northpole #alaska #christmas ♬ Holly Jolly Christmas – Michael Bublé
Merry Christmas to all North Pole residents, who help keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year round.
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CreditsPacific Air Forces and 4 others
Pacific Air Forces
Santa Claus House
Hotel North Pole
The Japan Times