In addition to half a million kids, thousands of adults from all around the world send letters to Santa Claus every year. A study has been conducted in Finland on adult letters with the goal of finding out what is their idea of Santa Claus.
The most common idea is that Santa Claus is like a saint, a messenger of good hope who sets an example in being kind. The deepest and most sensitive wishes in the letters are expressed to a god of love, and the senders ask the god to help them find the love of their life. Even in the very secular culture of today, Santa Claus seems to be a powerful indicator of conscience and a guardian of high morals.
Even though the material consists of letters sent by adults, the senders insist that they are kind or they indirectly tell Santa Claus that they are kind-for example, by being ecological. Santa Claus receives letters all year round. “For ten years now, my job has been to sort and read the letters at Santa’s Main Post Office in the Santa Claus Village in the Arctic Circle in Rovaniemi. I assume that confiding in Santa Claus and addressing difficult topics make people feel better and provides them with a way to solve problems and to visualize their goals,” says Riitta Mattila, who has studied letters to Santa Claus.
Based on Mattila’s material, there are 14 ideas of Santa Claus: a messenger of good will, God, confidant, friend, pen pal, person who implements gift requests, god of love, therapist, green savior of the world, gift receiver, merciful judge, educator and a rewarding character as an educational tool, a physician and a population register system.
The material included a sample of letters written by Finns (13-93 years old),from letters sent to Santa Claus for Christmas 2010. Every year, a comprehensive set of letters to Santa Claus are annually archived in the provincial archives of Oulu. Researchers may borrow the material for research purposes confidentially without revealing personal information. Riitta Mattila, literature thesis, University of Oulu, 2013: Rakkauden jumala ja hyväntahdonlähettiläs (god of love and a messenger of good will) Joulupukin representaatioita aikuisten suomalaisten kirjeissä vuonna 2010 (Santa Claus in letters sent by adult Finns in 2010).
Santa Claus’ Main Post Office in Santa’s Workshop Village is the only official post office for Santa Claus. It is located in the Arctic Circle, in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Santa Claus’ Main Post Office belongs to Finland’s official postal service network, and it has a special postmark all of its own. It handles all the mail that Santa Claus receives and sends.
Since 1985, Santa Claus’ Main Post Office has received approximately 16 million letters to Santa. During the past few years, our beloved Santa has received more than 500,000 letters per year, from approximately 200 different countries. Santa replies to the majority of the letters himself, provided that the sender has included his/her address in the letter. From Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, you can also order a letter from Santa that will be mailed to delight the recipient just before Christmas.
Santa Claus gets visitors from all over the world. At Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, it is Christmas all year round and visitors are served by post office elves in full Christmas dress. Each year, Santa Claus’ Main Post Office is visited by approximately half a million people, 90% of which are from abroad. In addition, the Post Office is visited annually by more than 100 international media representatives.
Santa Claus’ Main Post Office is a beautiful building made of natural stone and aged pine, with the Tontun torni (Elf’s Tower) as a landmark in front of it. The origin of the Post Office is linked to the visit made by Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States, to Rovaniemi in 1950. A cottage was built for her in the Arctic Circle and as of June 11, 1950, all letters mailed from there were franked with a special Arctic Circle postmark. The cottage is still in its place in front of the current Post Office.
Each letter, card and parcel mailed at Santa Claus’ Main Post Office is franked with a special postmark and stamps. The logo of Santa Claus’ Main Post Office was designed by the graphic designer Pekka Vuori. The logo is also a registered trademark. The postmark contains a stylized logo that was edited to its current form by the graphic designer Jukka Talari in 2012. This special Arctic Circle postmark is a popular collectable and souvenir.
Santa Claus’ Main Post Office serves its customers in a unique manner. It is open every day of the year and the customers are served in several languages. The items mailed by the customer are franked and delivered when the customer wishes them to be delivered, e.g. for Christmas. The product selection on sale at Santa Claus’ Main Post Office includes unique Christmas cards, Christmas stamps and thematic stamp folders, among other items. You can order a letter from Santa both at the Post Office and also online at
The website of Santa Claus’ Main Post Office: www.santaclaus.posti.fi
Santa Claus tells more about Santa Claus’ Main Post Office and Lapland on YouTube:
Opening hours: in December from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., in June, July and August from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., other times from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Santa Claus’ Main Post Office, Santa’s Workshop Village, Tähtikuja 1, Rovaniemi, FI-96930 Arctic Circle, Finland
tel. +358 20 452 3120