Florida probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think Christmas. It’s probably not even one of the top 20 places that come to mind. For thousands of people who love Christmas however, the state is top of mind. Like other cities with names that reflect the season Christmas, Florida gets inundated with mail in December from people who want that special postmark. Originally the city was named Fort Christmas, which was named for the time of year the historical fort was built. The post office is decorated year-round with wreaths and a Christmas tree in the lobby. You’ll find Christmas trees and reindeer decorating other areas of the city too—even in the midst of a Florida summer.
Original Image: Doug Kerr
Santa Claus, Indiana
Visitors to Santa Claus, Indiana are invited to celebrate Christmas every day of the year with holiday-themed shopping and accommodations. Billing itself as America’s Christmas Hometown, Santa Claus, the town, has been embracing the holiday since the 1930s. Visit the Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari festive amusement park, or satisfy that sweet tooth at Santa’s Candy Castle. There are also two residential/recreational areas: Christmas Lake Village and Holiday Village, which boast street names like Sleigh Bell, Chimes, and Good Friday Blvd.
Original Image: Lehigh Valley, PA
Founded by missionaries who named the settlement after the birthplace of Jesus, the city would go on to embrace the Christmas season year-round. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Chamber of Commerce adopted the nickname Christmas City USA in 1937, and the Citizens Christmas City Committee raises money every year to fund the lighting of hundreds of trees and to hold onto its Christmas theme. At Christmastime, the festivities heighten with merchants decking their halls, holiday tours, and the annual Christkindlmarkt Bethlehem arts and crafts market.
Image: James Brooks
North Pole, Alaska
So you thought there was no such thing as the North Pole, didn’t you? Well, it’s alive and well and situated in Alaska. The city is dressed in its Christmas finest not only in December but every other month of the year too. Take a drive down Santa Claus Lane, past light poles designed to look like candy canes, and the Christmas spirit will instantly grab you. Then stop by the Santa Claus House, a world famous attraction, to pick up a few unique items to add to your Christmas bag of gifts.
Image: Jack Miller
North Pole, New York
Call it North Pole East. Like Alaska, New York has its own North Pole. This tiny town doesn’t boast much in the way of city living, but there is one gem that has attracted visitors since it was built in 1949. North Pole’s main draw is Santa’s Workshop, a Christmas-themed amusement park that features a roller coaster, a petting zoo, a Christmas parade led by a cast of characters, and of course, Santa. Families can visit as early as July and make ornaments, learn how toys are made, hang out by a campfire, and make s’mores and even have dinner with Santa.