NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Most people have to find ways to get into the holiday spirit this time of the year, but it might be easiest for residents of cities and towns with holiday-themed names.
We’ve compiled a list of 10 cities and towns with holiday-themed names:
Santa Claus, Ind.: This town named for the jolly St. Nick may have only 2,000 residents, but it is also home to Holiday World Theme Park, located on none other than East Christmas Boulevard. The park claims it is the world’s first theme park with four distinct holiday-themed areas. It also recruits 150 helpers or “elves” to respond to letters to Santa the town gets each year.
North Pole, Alaska: What child wouldn’t want a letter from Santa, complete with a North Pole postmark? North Pole, Alaska, gets thousands of requests each year and it even has a link on its website for such requests. If you’re driving in North Pole, you can cruise Santa Claus Lane and take in the sights, including the candy cane light poles.
Joy, Ill.: IN addition to dressing the town to the nines for all of the holidays Americans celebrate during the season, the town of Joy processes nearly 13,000 holiday cards each year so they get the special postmark of Joy. The town is also near a large Christmas tree farm, where residents and visitors can scout for that most special of holiday traditions.
Christmas, Fla.: When people think of Christmas, they may have a Normal Rockwell type picture in their mind of a warm cottage nestled in the snow with a large Christmas tree’s lights blazing. Florida may not typically have the snow, but the town of Christmas does have a 25-foot evergreen decorated all year.
Bethlehem, Pa.: This oh, little town of Bethlehem may not be the one of Jesus’ birth, but the self-described “Christmas City” adorns its downtown in two miles worth of lights and features the Christkindlmarkt, a six-week festival with vendors and everything Christmas. The town was named on Christmas Eve 1741.
Rudolph, Wis.: Send a Christmas card to this little village of a little more than 400 residents and you’ll get one of three of the town’s special postmarks. The town was founded in the 19th century, well before Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was recorded, but the song has been a boon to the tiny hamlet for nearly a century. If you drive in the town, you won’t hit a stop light; the town doesn’t have one. But you will see every street sign with the likeness of a certain reindeer.
Snowflake, Ariz.: As with Florida, pictures of Arizona don’t typically come when you conjure up the image of snuggling in for a long winter’s nap – but parts of Arizona (in the mountains) do get some snow, and Snowflake is among the communities recording a little every year. The town’s big holiday celebration is the Twelve Days of Christmas, which ends in a parade and more than 1,000 bellies warmed with hot cocoa.
Evergreen, Alaska: This town was named for its evergreens, and each year the residents like to incorporate their Christmas celebrations for the festive tree that symbolizes the holiday. There is an annual lighting ceremony and the downtown is turned festive, with thousands of stringed lights on almost every living tree and shrub. The main street is lined with more than 30 decorated trees and a local church presents a live nativity.
Christmas Valley, Ore.: The unincorporated community in Oregon was actually named for Christmas Lake, but the community embraces its holiday name during December. Each year, the town holds an annual parade and caroling celebration and serves up more than 400 Christmas cookies. The event must attract some visitors – that is more than the population of the town.
Noel, Mo.: The Ozark Mountains are known for their picturesque natural beauty, and this is the self-proclaimed Canoe and Christmas Capital of the Ozarks. Situated near the majestic Elk River, residents float a locally cut cedar tree on a large raft on the water, creating a festive reflection each holiday season and, free of charge, will affix the special Noel postmark to your Christmas cards.