Christmas 2016: A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland

Santa's team in Rovaniemi is extremely busy sorting out out piles of letters written by children across the globe as Christmas is coming nearer.

A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
At Santa Claus' Lapland home in Finland, his helpers sort out piles of letters from around the world, each detailing children's requests for this Christmas. In English, Italian or other languages, youngsters' handwriting adorn the envelopes addressed to Father Christmas, some decorated with colourful hearts and stars. As the festive holiday nears, everyday is busy for Santa's helpers in Rovaniemi, which declares itself his official hometown near the Arctic Circle Reuters

It's that time of the year when we can feel the nip in the air and we know that merrier time is just around the corner.The countdown has finally begun and Christmas is on its way to make our December special.

And with this, Santa Claus' helpers are busy sorting out piles of letters from around the world at his Lapland home in Finland. They are frantically going through requests for Christmas presents from children from all around the world.

Youngsters across the globe sent handwritten letters in English, Italian or other languages addressing the Father Christmas. Some of the letters were decorated with colourful hearts and stars.

A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Santa Claus waits for visitors at Santa Claus' Village on the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland December 15, 2016. Reuters

Santa's team in Rovaniemi, which calls itself his official hometown, near the Arctic Circle is extremely busy as D-day is coming nearer.

"Santa Claus is getting more and more popular, he receives about half a million letters every year from all around the world," Elina, who works as a postal elf, told Reuters.

"We are busy here in Santa Claus' main post office at the Arctic Circle to help him open all the letters and get all the wishes ready for Christmas," she added.

According to a board in the post office, Santa can receive some 32,000 letters a day at Christmas time. In 2015, Santa received around 500,000 letters. China, Poland, Italy, Britain, Finland, Japan and Russia top the list of senders.

A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Elina, dressed as a Christmas elf, reads letters from around the world which were sent to Santa Claus at the Santa Claus' Post Office, in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland December 15, 2016 Reuters

Every year, thousands of visitors come to see the Rovaniemi Santa attraction ahead of Christmas. They meet the man himself and enjoy the magical scenery of that place. They also watch Santa Claus' reindeer.

"Another year is coming to its end and it has been a turbulent year with many big problems but also many very good things," Santa said in his Christmas message.

"Now as Christmas is coming close, reach out for those who need a helping hand, do it with compassion - that's the real Christmas spirit," Santa added.

A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Santa Claus talks to the Caballero family from Itay at Santa Claus' Village in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finalnd December 15, 2016. Reuters
A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Santa Claus talks to Eloise and Noah Seymour from England at Santa Claus' Village in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland December 15, 2016 Reuters
A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Letters from around the world are stored at the Santa Claus' Post Office in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland December 15, 2016. Reuters
A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Letters to Santa Clause from around the world are displayed at the Santa Clause Office in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland, December 15, 2016. Reuters
A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Visitors stand outside Santa Claus' office at Santa Claus' Village on the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland, December 15, 2016 Reuters
A visit to the Lapland home of Santa Claus in Finland
Santa Claus rides in his sleigh as he prepares for Christmas in the Arctic Circle near Rovaniemi, Finland December 15, 2016. Reuters
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