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Checklist: Santa’s not-so-secret hideouts

SINGAPORE — The festive season is around the corner, and if you’re feeling surly, you need a holiday, stat.

Santa Claus and his elves are busy in Santa Claus Village in Lapland.

Santa Claus and his elves are busy in Santa Claus Village in Lapland.

SINGAPORE — The festive season is around the corner, and if you’re feeling surly, you need a holiday, stat.

Not just to any place, mind you. It’s hard to get into the spirit of things when you’re fighting the crowds in a big city or fanning yourself on the beach. So why don’t you go live with Santa instead? No, not at the North Pole, but at these alternative hangouts.

Santa Claus Town

Located in Indiana, United States, Santa Claus Town is home to the only post office in the world to bear the name Santa Claus. That’s not all. This is a town so Christmassy, the streets are actually named Candy Cane Lane, Arctic Circle and Tinsel Drive, and the three lakes here are Christmas Lake, Lake Holly and Lake Noel. There are also Christmas-themed attractions to keep you as occupied as the elves in Santa’s workshop. Get a high from riding the wooden roller-coasters, or check out Santa’s Candy Castle or Frosty’s Fun Centre.

Santa Claus Village

Lapland, Finland, has the famous Santa Claus Village, of course. Except it’s more like an amusement park with Santa’s very own office, a permanent exhibition displaying Christmas traditions around the world and the elves’ toy workshop. The coolest thing there, however, has nothing to do with the holiday season: You get bragging rights for crossing into the Arctic.

Drobak

Norway has its own version of Santa Claus called Julenissen, who lives in Santa Claus Town in Drobak. The small town just 35km south of Oslo is where Christmas is celebrated all year. The centre of attraction is the fairy tale-like Christmas House, where you can pick up all sorts of Christmas souvenirs. It doesn’t hurt that Drobak is so pretty — with dramatic fjords and a picturesque harbour — it’s almost impossible to be a Grinch here.

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