Santa Prepares to Deliver Millions of Gifts Around the World

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

It's the busiest time of the year for Santa and his elves.

The bearded man is supervising the wrapping of all of the presents.

Santa's village is also full with children who have made the trip up north to deliver their Christmas wishes in person.

They all get to meet Santa in person. This boy is even singing a song.

The village is located just on the Arctic Circle, some eight kilometres north of Rovaniemi in Finish Lapland.

And for those who can't make it here, there's always the good old fashioned post.

Santa's little helpers have been sorting through wish lists sent in from around the globe at a special post office in the village.

Around half a million letters drop through the letterbox here every year.

Since 1985, when Santa opened his village here, he has received a total of 16-million letters from 198 countries.

Last year most of the festive post came from Italy, followed by the United Kingdom, Poland and China.

This time around, there will also been some letters in Santa's mail sack from children in Berlin.

These boys and girls at Kindergarten Karlsgartenstrasse are all drawing pictures of the gifts they would like to receive - everything from Lego castles to dolls.

Once they are done, their teacher puts the drawings in an envelope and sends it all off to Santa.

Later, they arrive in Lapland - and the man himself admires the creations.

Reading so many letters every year, Santa knows all of the latest trends when it comes to presents.

He says they don't change all that much.

There's a sprinkling of new technology wishes, such as tablet computers and the latest video games, but there are a lot of requests that are the same every year.

"The girls it's more the textiles, the books, the dolls, puppets, things like that. And boys are more machinery, you know lorries and tractors and things. It has to be machine and a little bit of noise," explains Santa.

Outside of Santa's office a group of children is enjoying the snow and ice.

Some are seeing snow for the first time and they are making the most of it by sliding down an ice slide that Santa asked the elves to build.

Ten-year-old Anna Cosgrove from Ireland is about to go in to Santa to give her wish lists, but before that she takes time to play with the other children.

She already knows what she will ask for.

"For Christmas I would like an iPad and maybe a few things for it, like a cover," she says.

Finnian Cosgrove, who's seven and visiting from Clare in Ireland, says he would like a Playstation 4.

And eight-year-old Carolina Rudolph from Germany, who happens to share her surname with the famous reindeer, says she would like a stable for her toy horses.

They're all wishes Santa will be hoping to fulfil as he sets off on his worldwide delivery run.

All that's left to do is to get Rudolph ready.

He's been preparing, mentally and physically, for weeks according to Santa - and he can't wait to head off.

"He is very ready, he has actually been ready for a while. He is very anxious. He now looks very calm but you'll see when we start. He is going to take off," says Santa.

And away they go - to give gifts to millions of people around the globe.

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