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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Charlie Jones

Inside festive town called Santa Claus which celebrates Christmas all year round

It’s a yearly moan - that Christmas is kicking off earlier and earlier.

In the US, Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday of November) does the heavy lifting of holding back the Yuletide but here in the UK we can be tangled in Christmas lights from the beginning of the month.

That’s two months a year getting slapped by tinsel with Mariah Carey biting at your heels.

But if you think that’s bad, there’s one town where Christmas is celebrated all year round - the appropriately named Santa Claus, Indiana.

Here you can visit Santa's Candy Castle, Santa Claus Museum, Christmas Lake Golf Course and Santa's Stables whenever you want.

Come the frosty winter months or roasting summer ones, smiling Santa statues grin down at you.

The town’s name came before the strong Christmas theme. Founded in 1854 as Santa Fe, local officials ran into trouble when they tried to set up a post office.

The Post Office Department refused the application as there was confusingly already a Santa Fe Post Office in another Indiana town called Santa Fe.

How the locals decided on Santa Claus is a story dosed with a healthy amount of myth making.

Nell Hedge, the previous director of the Santa Claus Museum, described how the whole town met up on Christmas Eve to figure out a new name.

She said: “The doors flew open on the building and a little girl heard the jingle of a Santa sleigh bell, and she said ‘Santa Claus’ and the town said ‘Santa Claus’.”

The naming of the area really took off from there.

You can take a walk down Prancer Lane (or streets named after any of the other reindeers for that matter), past Christmas Lake to Holly Park.

In 1936 hoping to take advantage of the town’s strange name, an entrepreneur setup Santa's Candy Castle.

This led to a festive arms race and by the end of 1950 a range of other Christmas businesses had sprung up including theme park (now called Holiday World) where Santa Claus himself can be met every day of the year.

Unlike the rival town of Santa Claus, Arizona, which was abandoned and left to rot in the desert, its namesake in Indiana thrived.

According to the theme park’s owner, most days will see more guests than there are residents in the town.

Nowadays there are reams of restaurants, hotels and shops themed for Christmas.

In fact, in a town so oriented around the holidays it’s the non-Christmas themed businesses that stand out.

The town’s name has led to its Christmasy credentials becoming self fulfilling as thousands of letters flood into Santa Claus Post Office each year addressed to Father Christmas himself.

From 1914 the post office has marshalled a team to respond to each and every letter mailed to St Nick.

Visitors coming in December will find a winter wonderland, something like a Christmas fair writ large.

But come January, when most people are taking down their decorations, the residents of Santa Claus, Indiana, are not.

Willing or otherwise they are settling in for yet another year of celebrating Christmas.

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