Why Does Santa Claus Live in the North Pole?

If you love Christmas, you’re probably curious about where Santa Claus lives and what his toy workshop looks like. Santa Claus lives in the North Pole at the northernmost tip of the globe. He lives there with Mrs. Claus, the elves that help him in the workshop, and all the wonderful reindeer that guide his sleigh.

If you want to know his exact address, it’s 580 South Santa Claus Lane, North Pole, AK 99705. Unless you live in Alaska, going to the North Pole to visit Santa may be a little difficult, since it’s pretty far away from most places.

So why does Santa live all the way up in the North Pole? From a logistics standpoint, it would be better for him to live somewhere in Albania or Montenegro. These two countries have an average distance of 4,037 miles to all other countries in the world. If Santa Claus moved his base of operations to either of those countries, it would be easier to reach everyone on Christmas Eve as he delivers gifts.

However, Santa Clause chose his home very carefully. He lives in the North Pole because it’s what’s best for his workshop and his helpers.

Santa needs to stay in the North Pole because it’s one of the few places on earth that’s consistently cold. Santa has reindeer, which are animals that are native to the Arctic, sub-Arctic, and tundra regions of Northern Europe, Siberia, and North America. Reindeer need to live in cold, snowy climates, because that’s where they thrive. If Santa moved to a tropical island, his reindeer would be very unhappy and they would miss their ice-cold home.

Another reason Santa stays in the North Pole is because it’s isolated. Santa and his elves need to work in a quiet environment to get their job done. Santa works with his elves to invent and manufacture all the toys he will give away for Christmas. If they lived in a highly populated, large city, they would never get any work done! They would be too distracted by all the sounds of traffic and people living in the city.

Not to mention, Santa’s workshop is massive. There wouldn’t be enough room for it anywhere other than the North Pole. We are, after all, talking about a workshop that makes toys for billions of children around the globe.

Last but not least, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, and the elves really like the snow. Snow is heavily associated with Christmas because it snows around Christmas time in many parts of the world. By living in the North Pole, Santa and his family get to enjoy a winter wonderland year-round.

When Did Santa Move to the North Pole?

Santa Claus wasn’t always from the North Pole. The first signs of Santa Claus take us back to the town of Myra in ancient Greece. This is where Saint Nicholas, the predecessor of the current iteration of Santa, once lived in the 4th century. Now, Myra is known as Demre, a town in Turkey. That's quite a ways away from the North Pole!

Santa didn’t move to the north until 1863. This is when American cartoonist Thomas Nast began submitting Christmas-themed illustrations for Harper's Weekly magazine. One of the many illustrations he submitted depicted Santa Claus living in “Santa Claussville” in the North Pole. After that, Santa, his family, and his workshop, would always be depicted in the Arctic.

But why did Nast choose to depict Santa in the North Pole? Well, the North Pole was a place of fantasy and intrigue during the 1800s, because it was largely unexplored territory. More than 30 Arctic expeditions were done between 1800 and 1863, but the most famous expedition that made the Arctic gain infamy in the minds of many was Franklin’s lost expedition in 1845.

Franklin's lost expedition was a British voyage led by Captain John Franklin. Franklin and his crew set sail to explore the Arctic on two ships, but unfortunately, the ships became icebound for more than a year. Franklin and several of his men never made it back. The rest of the crew abandoned ship and disappeared in Canada.

The mysterious passing and disappearance of Franklin’s crew shook the world to its core, and several expeditions were organized to try to find out what happened. The subsequent expeditions fueled the world’s hunger to find out more about the untamable Arctic, and it became a place of myths, magic, and wonder. So naturally, when Thomas Nast illustrated the magical Santa Claus living in such a place, it made perfect sense.