Christmas in North Pole

Don’t tell the kids, but neither Santa nor his elves actually live in the North Pole. But in North Pole, Alaska, there’s loads of Christmas cheer to be had.

The Santa Claus House, home of the “Original Letter from Santa,” receives mail by the thousands each year. Kids who write to the jolly old man may not actually get the Hannah Montana doll or Nintendo Wii they asked for, but they will get a sticker saying that they’re on “Santa's Good List” and a picture of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Possibly the most important event in North Pole is Christmas in Ice, an ice-carving competition which brings in contestants – both young and old – from all over the world. Chubby cherubs, swirling nativity scenes, and kissing couples are just some of the sculptures that will make you go “Whoa!” Candle lighting and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are also part of the programme, as is a fireworks display. Kids will enjoy the activities laid out for them, like decorating Christmas cookies and creating gingerbread houses. There is also a community winter picnic, while the Fairbanks Foodbank organisation will be onsite to collect canned goods for charity.

More merriment is provided by the Winter Festival, with concerts and carolling. The North Pole King and Queen for 2009 will be announced as well. To complete the experience, go dog-sledding. Who needs Rudolph when a litter of Alaskan Huskies can do the job just as well?

Plans are underway to make North Pole a “theme city” for it to “fully live up to its name.”

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