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As we grow older, Christmas nostalgia tends to feel like myths but it does not stop people from wondering Santa Claus is actually real. Is he? Well, only one way to find out. Here are five allegedly real Santa hot spots you can visit during Christmas to explore and decide for yourself.
New York City is no stranger to alleged Santa sightings. If the man is real, then stories are bound to fly around in the city that never sleeps. One story revolves around a man who claimed he had seen Santa on three separate occasions.
The first was on Christmas Eve in 2002, when he was pacing back and forth in the hallway of his home. He allegedly saw a tall, fat figure about 20 feet away from him, all hurriedly scurrying.
The second was in 2004 when he saw the same huge man crawl underneath a tree and vanish. The final sighting was when he saw the same tall figure wearing a Santa hat trudge by him for a few seconds. Although his claims aren’t legitimately verified, part of us wonder if there’s truth to them.
Scotland experienced a ban on Christmas Day for 400 years and only recognised it as an official holiday in 1958. About 30 years ago (sometime after the ban was lifted), a story came out about two people’s separate encounters with Santa Claus on the same Christmas Eve. The two were outside their respective houses when they suddenly heard the sound of bells approaching from a distance. As they looked up, they apparently saw Santa himself flying very fast and low over their rooftops on a sleigh pulled by — you guessed it — reindeers.
Both men believed they had a brief encounter with Santa. But as usual, nobody believed them when they shared their accounts. Yet despite the collective dismissal, Scotland has since been suspected as a Santa hot spot. The fact that its scenic landscapes get beautifully snow-covered every Christmas do little to thwart off the rumours.
Davis, Alaska, has been renamed the North Pole in 1953. It even took on the slogan, “Where the Spirit of Christmas Lives Year ‘Round” to allow people to experience the season well before and after December. There aren’t any outstanding Santa Claus urban legends here but if you are seeking to create investigate for a hidden clue, this is the perfect place to start.
There is a famous place here called the Santa Claus House that’s essentially a store. It was built by husband and wife Con and Nellie Miller in 1952. While building the store, a young Alaskan asked Con Miller, “Hello, Santa Claus! Are you building a new house?” It was then that the inspiration to name the store Santa Claus House came about. Unsurprisingly, it brought about questions from tourists if the place hides a real Santa, especially since it’s snowy all year here.
Greece is another country where Christmas loving tourists are always ‘looking’ for Santa Claus. The travel trope started when a gift-giving saint came to be. His name was Saint Nicholas of Myra.
Saint Nicholas of Myra came from a wealthy family and distributed his family’s wealth to the poor when his parents died. He was a Greek bishop who had a habit of giving gifts in secret, which was said to give rise to the traditional Santa Claus archetype we all grew up to know.
Another reason why people are convinced to find out if Santa Claus is well and alive in Greece is due to a reported encounter. It is said that a father of three girls stayed up all night on Christmas Eve one time to catch Saint Nicholas in action. Indeed, the venerated figure appeared before the man’s eyes and ordered him to not tell anyone about the gifts he left for his children.
But Saint Nicholas isn’t the only Greek figure that Santa Claus is based on. Apparently, many locals also believe he is actually Saint Basil the Great, a great figure in the Orthodox Christian tradition. Much like Saint Nicholas, Saint Basil was said to visit homes on Christmas Eve gifts to children throughout Greece. Want to know if this story is rooted in reality? You have to visit this country!