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Santa’s Workshop

Santa Claus works very hard throughout the year to ensure Christmas is perfect for everyone. His workshop, located at the North Pole, is producing toys and gifts all year round, in readiness for the festive period, when it becomes a hive of activity as the big day approaches.

The tradition of Santa's workshop being at the North Pole has led to children all over the world sending letters simply addressed to "Father Christmas, North Pole," and telling him what they want for Christmas. The letters are delivered by Royal Mail for the price of a first or second class stamp.

What's more, youngsters will even receive a reply from Santa if they send off their Christmas letter early enough! Royal Mail has a special relationship with the man in red - kids' letters should be posted to: Santa/Father Christmas, Santa's Grotto, Reindeerland XM4 5HQ by Friday 7th December this year to make sure they reach him in good time.


Who was Santa Claus?

Santa wasn't always the jolly, bearded, rotund chap we know and love. At one time, Saint Nicholas lived not in the North Pole, but in the warmer climate of the ancient Greek city of Myra, in the 4th century AD, during the time of the Roman Empire.

His generosity was renowned and he would give gifts to the needy. The story of his generosity was spread all over the world by the sailors docking at Myra's port and he became a living legend, giving hope to people in need. After his parents died, he was said to have distributed their wealth among people living in poverty.

Tales of his kindness lived on after his death in December 343 and he became the most famous of the saints. His reputation for gift-giving was carried on and passed down from generation to generation. He was also known for secretly putting coins in people's shoes when they left them out. This led to the modern tradition of Christmas stockings being hung up on Christmas Eve for Santa to fill with gifts overnight.


Why the North Pole?

So how did Santa Claus end up at his rather chilly headquarters? He moved to the Arctic in the 19th century, thanks to the cartoonist Thomas Nast - a German who lived in the United States. He submitted regular cartoons of Christmas scenes to the magazine, Harper’s Weekly, between 1863 and 1886.

Nast created the version of Father Christmas that we know today: the jolly, bearded, robust gentleman, carrying a bundle of toys and wearing a wreath of holly on his head. It was Nast who first drew Santa’s workshop and wrote of the concept of putting children's names in a book to say whether they had been naughty or nice that year.

He gave Santa a new home, drawing his workshop at the North Pole and creating the legend we all know and love today. Youngsters enjoyed Nast's cartoons and Santa Claus was well and truly embedded in modern-day folklore, as the bringer of Christmas gifts.

The North Pole became his home as a result of the multiple expeditions to the Arctic by explorers in the 1840s and 1850s. Their endeavours gained worldwide publicity, as the Arctic was a famous and mystical location, where it snowed all the time.

Snow became a universal symbol of Christmas and Nast felt it made sense for Santa Claus to live among the snow, creating Christmas cheer throughout the year. It's lucky that Father Christmas is full of the warmth and joy of the festive season, as the North Pole, sitting at the northernmost tip of the world, is one of the coldest places on the planet! The average winter temperature is -40°C and in the summer it's still chilly at 0°C. Other residents of the North Pole include Polar bears and Arctic foxes.


What goes on at Santa’s HQ?

The hardworking elves work in Santa's workshop, making the toys that are distributed to good children all over the world on Christmas Eve, to be opened on Christmas Day. Red-nosed reindeer also live at the North Pole, eating carrots and always ready to pull Santa's magical sleigh on Christmas Eve.

No-one has ever managed to find Santa's secret village and workshop, but it's said to be filled with small cottages that are red and white like candy canes, or brown like gingerbread houses. The elves live in the cottages, while Santa himself lives in a large cottage of red, white and gold, with a constant pleasing aroma of Christmas cookies.

His workshop is a large, red toy factory, where the majority of the elves work - although some elves run small food shops or teach youngsters at the elf school.

The streets in the elf village are always very clean and have Christmas lights sparkling away all year round. No-one has a car and all the elves travel by bicycle or scooter. Reindeer live in their own stables but can be seen out practicing their flying every day in preparation for Christmas.

Legend has it that no-one can ever find Santa's village at the North Pole because it's covered by a magical dome, that also keeps the heat in. The dome prevents outsiders from ever seeing the village, even from above, so although Santa knows where we are, we will never find him!

Of course, Santa visits children all over the world in the run-up to Christmas by setting up his grotto and workshops, usually in department stores, shopping malls and garden centres, so that kids can see him in person and tell him face-to-face what they would like for Christmas, without having to travel to the North Pole.


Santa's little helpers

With Christmas being such a busy season, it's important to maintain safety in Santa's workshop for his army of little helpers. With all their hard work, making and wrapping millions of toys for children, the health and safety of the elves is vital - being busy is no excuse for cutting corners!

When Brian and Stewie Griffin visit Santa's workshop at the North Pole in the animated TV comedy series, Family Guy, they find the elves falling ill through working in terrible conditions.

The spoof shows Santa exhausted and ill through working too many hours without sleep, while the elves are overworked and sickly, making mistakes as they work on the factory production line. One elf sews his hand on to a toy using an industrial sewing machine, while a chute spills out too many toys on to the conveyor belt, burying the elf workers underneath!

Even in Santa's workshop, it's vital that health and safety procedures are followed. When your employees are on their feet all day in a busy workshop environment, they will appreciate the benefits of Coruba's rubber safety matting, with anti-slip and anti-fatigue benefits… we do conveyor belts too!

Give us a call on 01702 560194 for further details.

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