Christmas Year-Round Towns

For these festively named towns, one month just isn't enough time to share their holiday spirit. Check out four holly jolly places that love to spread Christmas cheer no matter what season it is.
By: Alyson McNutt English
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Photo By: The Santa Claus House

North Pole, Alaska

This town in central Alaska advertises its ZIP code (99705) as "Santa's ZIP Code." And why not? After all, it's got the right name – even if the reason for it is more about economics than holiday spirit. When a development company bought the area in 1952, it decided to call it North Pole in the hopes of attracting a toy manufacturer or theme-park developer to the area. While that didn't pan out the way the developers had hoped, the town does lay claim to the Santa Claus House, the "official" home of the jolly gift-giver. A 42-foot tall, 900-pound Santa statue welcomes visitors to the sprawling store, which, predictably, specializes in Christmas-related merchandise and collectibles.

North Pole, Alaska

The town celebrates the holidays with a spectacular ice-carving competition. Each year, both local and international carvers use drills, chisels, hot water and heat guns to create intricate, Christmas-themed ice sculptures, which look especially stunning when illuminated at night.

North Pole, New York

While North Pole, Alaska, may claim to be Santa's ZIP code, North Pole, N.Y., is his place of business. (Yes, it is quite a commute, but the magic sleigh helps beat traffic.) Home to "Santa's Workshop," this festive mini theme park in the Adirondacks is home to Tannenbaum the Talking Christmas Tree, the Frosty North Pole (which stays frozen year round) and, of course, the occasional spotting of Santa and Mrs. Claus.

North Pole, New York

The holiday season is a busy time for this New York town's post office: most mail labeled "Santa Claus" or "North Pole" that's sent in the eastern United States makes its way to the North Pole Post Office, which then delivers it to Santa's Workshop.

Santa Claus, Indiana

Originally called Santa Fe when it was established in 1854, this southern Indiana town applied to have its own post office two years later. The U.S. Postal Service, however, rejected the application because there was already another Santa Fe, Ind. The final town meeting of the year was held on Christmas Eve that year, which inspired the people to rename their hometown "Santa Claus." And when you really do have the official Santa Claus Post Office, you're bound to feel the Christmas spirit all year long.

Santa Claus, Indiana

More than a million people flock to town every year to check out Santa's Candy Castle, the Santa Claus Museum, Santa's Lodge (which includes Frosty's Fun Center), and hang out at the Holiday World theme park, (which was originally called "Santa Claus Land").

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

While North Pole, Alaska, was named with a financial future in mind, Bethlehem was born on Christmas Eve, 1741, founded by missionaries who set up a commune on the banks of Pennsylvania's Lehigh River. Today, Bethlehem is known as "Christmas City, USA," and it keeps a 91-foot-tall star (made of Bethlehem steel) lit from 4:30 p.m. until midnight every day of the year. Horse-drawn carriage rides and Christmas-themed walking tours are offered throughout the holiday season, providing the perfect way to admire Bethlehem's historic architecture and twinkling lights.