Kids and kids-at-heart all remember the delicious milk and cookies, decorating the tree, and, of course, writing that wondrous letter to ol’ Kris Kringle himself and eagerly mailing it to the North Pole. Head to this Santa Clause village in the Arctic Circle, and you can snag a behind-the-scenes look at the mail magic in action.
Built from natural stone and pine trees, what claims to be the world’s only official Santa Claus Post Office has been handling Father Christmas’ mail since 1985. The office is even a genuine part of the Finnish postal services, though it only receives letters addressed to Santa.
As you’d expect, the cozy Arctic office is full to brim with elves (some of which are 300 years old, according to the official website) who light lanterns, take care of the letters, and assist Santa in writing post of his own to excited children across the world. He needs all the help he can get: To date, this post office has fielded about 20 million letters from children from nearly 200 countries.
Today, the post office still has its homey Christmas atmosphere. You can visit throughout the year, where you’ll find much more than a bustling mail hub. You can also shop around for Christmas souvenirs and browse items related to the study of stamps. If you decide to mail a letter of your own from the post office, it’ll get stamped with a unique Arctic Circle postmark. About 2 million postcards are mailed from the Santa’s Post Office to locations worldwide.