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14 October 2013

In Search of Christmas: The magic and wonder of Santa's Lapland

Welcome to Santa's Lapland. All photography is the property of SantasLapland.com unless specifically noted.
Welcome to Santa's Lapland. All photography is the property of SantasLapland.com unless specifically noted.

Deep within the forests and fells of northern Finland, nestled in hills laden with snow beneath a canopy of stars and emerald lights, awaits an enchanting Lapland holiday, a land filled with the magic of Christmas—Santa's Lapland. If you know me, then you know how much I love Christmas with all its festive traditions celebrated around the world but a visit to this winter wonderland that is Lapland is quite extraordinary and magical! When I stumbled upon Santa's Lapland, I just had to share this enchanting place that lies far above the Arctic Circle. What child could resist a visit to meet and spend a few days with Joulupukki as he is known in this part of the world? I may just run out and adopt a few to take along with me. If you're too old for Santa Claus, perhaps a visit to Santa's Lapland with your family this holiday season will reignite the hopes and dreams and the magic of Santa. Imagine seeing the wonder of Christmas through a child's eyes or a sleigh ride through the snow-covered hills with only the sounds of jingle bells ringing softly in the winter silence. Wouldn't a visit to this enchanted realm be the ultimate Christmas present?


The Northern Lights dance above forests laden with snow in Santa's Lapland. Photo: VVV84.
The Northern Lights dance above forests laden with snow in Santa's Lapland. Photo: VVV84.



Getting to know Lapland

Also known as the home of Father Christmas, Lapland is the northernmost province of Finland encompassing more than 30 percent of the entire nation but yet only 3.5 percent of country's population, including 7,000 Sámi (formerly Lapps), the only indigenous inhabitants of Scandinavia who subsist on reindeer herding just as their ancestors have done for centuries.

Did you know that Lapland is the home to Father Christmas?
Did you know that Lapland is the home to Father Christmas? 

Since most of Lapland lies above the Arctic Circle, to say it's cold here is certainly an understatement because temperatures range from minus 20 to minus 31 F (minus 7 to minus 35 C). But if you bundle up in your thermal suits and partake in an occasional mug or two of piping hot berry juice, you're sure to keep warm!

Twilight hours in Lapland. Photo: WikiMedia.org.
Twilight hours in Lapland. Photo: WikiMedia.org.

Above the article circle, summers and winters are quite different from what most of us are accustomed to. In the summer, Lapland becomes the land of the midnight sun while in the winter there is only four to five hours of daylight with two to three twilight hours before and after. While that may seem a like a long time in the dark, it creates the perfect setting for Christmastime.

Did you know there are more reindeer than people in Lapland? Our numbers are greater than 200,000 while the residents who call Finland home total approximately 190,000!
Did you know there are more reindeer than people in Lapland? Our numbers are greater than 200,000 while the residents who call Finland home total 190,000! Isn't this photo hilarious?

Snowy Adventures


Your reindeer-driven sleigh awaits for your nighttime sleigh ride to see the Northern Lights. Photo: RukaKuusamo.com.
Your reindeer-driven sleigh awaits for your nighttime sleigh ride to see the Northern Lights. Photo: RukaKuusamo.com.

Husky sledding is just one of the many snowy adventures that await in Santa's Lapland.
Husky sledding is just one of the many snowy adventures that await in Santa's Lapland.

Located in Saariselkä, approximately 125 miles north of from Lapland's capital Rovaniemi, Santa's Lapland becomes the perfect destination to celebrate Christmas. From husky sledding and reindeer sleigh rides to snowmobiling and being awe-struck by the Northern Lights; Santa's Lapland is bursting with snowy adventures for you and your children including downhill or cross-country skiing, ice hockey, tobogganing, exploring magical igloos and even a personal meet 'n' greet with the big guy himself. To find out more about the 3- to 4-night packages, visit Santa'sLapland.com for all the information you need to plan your Christmas holiday in the winter wonderland of Lapland, Finland.

One of Finland's indigenous Sámi dressed in traditional costuming.

Cross-country skiing is one of the many activities to enjoy in Lapland.
Cross-country skiing is one of the many activities to enjoy in Lapland.

Know before you go:

  • Bring LOTS of warm clothes, layers and gloves. Santa's Lapland does provide thermal suits for their guests to keep them snuggly.
  • Photographers: Camera batteries can freeze in these temps so bring backups and keep them warm.
  • There is only ONE ATM in all of Saariselkä and if it breaks down, there are no other options to withdraw cash. Although credit cards are widely accepted, bring spare cash as well.

Isn't it time you believe in Santa again?

18 comments:

  1. Nothing like a reindeer drawn sled on snow to get me in the mood for Christmas!

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    1. Hi there Marlys!! Would that be amazing??!! I would love that and seeing the Northern Lights in the middle of this secluded forest!! Must be spectacular!! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!!

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  2. My kids are probably too old for this but I still think it would be a magical place to spend Christmas!

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    1. Hi there Lisa. Thank you so much for stopping by. You know, I am not sure anyone is really too old for Santa ... LOL! I was on their Facebook page and a woman was exclaiming how excited she was to be celebrating her 40th with Santa. I just love it!! But I do see your point. Thx again.

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  3. You're never too old for Joulupukki! This is very enticing for me. I love Christmas and I'd love to visit Lapland. Husky sledding would be pretty high on my list of things to do there and I'd have to see one of those super cute reindeers.

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    1. LOL!! I love that!! Oh I can't tell how how jazzed this post makes for a visit to Lapland! Imagine the enchanted Christmas all who visit have during the holidays!! I love the reindeer too!! Thank you Cathy for stopping by and sharing your comments!

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  4. I know I can handle the cold so I think a little reindeer magic in Finland sounds wonderful. The locals certainly brighten up a winter day with their traditional clothes.

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    1. Hi there my friend! Don't those temps sound positively FRIGID??!! Thankfully, they provide thermal wear...I'll take two please! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your comments!

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  5. Squeal--I want to go!! What caught my eye is the size of the reindeer compared to the Sami leading them in the 9th photo. They're not as big as I thought they were. Fascinating post, Jeff!

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    1. Hi there Lesley!! Loved your squeal. LOL. The reindeer do look small in that photo but in others, they look like ponies. I think we just need to visit to determine for ourselves!! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts (and squeals) too!

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  6. Oh my gosh, Jeff! I was thinking, it's too early to think of Christmas but this post has put me in the mood for Santa and snow. It'd be truly amazing to visit Lapland. Let me go see if there's any eggnog in the fridge!

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    1. Hi there Marcia and thank you so much for getting into the Christmas spirit. I am curious. Did you find your eggnog? If so, send me a big tall glass with nutmeg please. ; ) Thx for stopping by!

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  7. I want to go here now! Our family loves all the bells and whistles that go with Christmas so I know my kids would love to experience this. I'm not a big fan of cold weather but I;d endure a visit here. A reindeer-driven sleigh to see the Northern Lights just jumped to my top travel wish list items. How awesome will that be? Thanks for igniting the Christmas spirit, Jeff.

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    1. HI there Mary!!! Thanks so much for stopping by! I too am a HUGE fan of the entire holiday season and already excited for this year as you could tell. I couldn't agree with you more about the reindeer ride to the see the Northern Lights ... especially in the secluded are where Santa's Lapland is located. In a word, sublime!

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  8. Clever Finns for claiming Father Christmas :)
    I haven't managed to cross the border to Finland up North yet, but definitely have to see all that Christmas cheer for myself soon.

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    1. Hi there Sophie!! I was surprised that the Finns claimed Father Christmas, but it's quite enchanting don't you think? Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!!

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  9. As a Dane I have to protest and point out that the real Santa is from Greenland. Though I have to admit Lapland looks pretty authentic.

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    1. Hi there my friend! So funny how many countries claim Santa! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! You know, this could be a topic for an article, "Where is Santa really from?"

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!