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If the sight of some 5000 Santas running a marathon together hasn't confused the children of the world enough, St. Petersburg, Russia, has something in store. Hot on the heels of the official G8 forum, attended by Bush, Blair et al in July this year, St. Petersburg will soon host the Santa G8.
Nope, we're not kidding. Santas from eight different nations (all slightly different versions of Santa, mind you) will meet in the city on New Year's Eve. Not until then, of course, because "they are too busy in their respective countries to come on Christmas Day." Russia's Father Frost will come face-to-face with the German Weihnachtsmann and Britain's Santa Claus, with Finnish Yelloupokki probably reluctantly stepping up since he already is sure he's the real thing.
· Santa's G8 Date [Daily Record]
· One Santa, Two Santas... [Jaunted]
· Will the Real Santa Please Stand Up? [Jaunted]
Airports / Holiday Travel / Christmas / Santa Claus / Websites / Freebies / → All Tags
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, home base for American Airlines, has launched its annual Santa Tracker website. The idea is to follow Santa before he touches down at DFW to greet his chosen people, the good citizens of North Texas. DFW is certainly one of the most festive airports in the world, followed closely by Sea-Tac of course, and it'll be giving you more than just ridiculous flash games this Christmas season.
Pepsi and Dunkin Donuts will be giving out free samples at DFW on Thursday. T-Mobile will also be handing out free access cards for its wifi network. It's almost enough to make you want to be at the world's sixth busiest airport on one of the busiest travel days of the year.
If you are stuck at DFW on Thursday, use that T-Mobile card to get onto Santa Tracker and play "Snowball Challenge," our favorite game on the site. We think they should've gone all-out and made airline employees the targets, but you can't always get what you want. Speaking of, no Hanukkah Harry tracker?
· Track Santa this Christmas with Texas airport Web site [Cheapflights.com]
It might give little children nightmares, but it definitely makes for good photos when thousands of people in Santa Claus costumes take to the streets together. Last weekend Santas were running all over Britain, with the biggest crowd in Liverpool. In this town that's not only home to the Beatles but also to Santa world records, around 5000 brightly costumed Santas showed up for a five kilometer charity run known as the Santa Dash. While the exact number of this year's participants is not verified yet, it'll definitely beat last year's Guinness Record "for the most Santas in one place at one time" (just so you know, that was 3921).
In Wales, another 2000 Santas ran in two separate races, but all with the same basic idea. And the Liverpool organizers also know that a similar coming event in Las Vegas could knock them off their number one perch. We wouldn't put it past Vegas to produce a bigger and better anything. Now the question is: where's Dubai in all of this?
· Dashing Santas Hit the Road [Yorkshire Post]
· Santa Claus coverage [Jaunted]
Remember how Finland claims to be home to the real Santa? Now Finnish airline Finnair is taking the point one step further and providing the world with training on being a substitute Santa--since poor Santa is so busy he often can't do more than "drop the presents...and go straight on to the next house."
Wanna be Santa too? Finnair's online School of Santa--proudly brought to you by the Official Airline of Santa Claus--gives you six lessons in "The Do's and Don'ts of How to be the Perfect Santa." From what sounds like the obvious first step of entering via the chimney (they suggest you use the door instead), through letting the children sing carols intead of torturing them with your own voice, and to not playing Santa at the wrong times of year, these handy instructional videos will have you Ho, ho, ho-ing your way into children's hearts the world over. Not that Finnair doesn't sneak in a fair slab of advertising too. All in keeping with the Christmas spirit of caring, sharing and commercialism, of course.
· The School of Santa [Finnair]
· Will the Real Santa Please Stand Up? [Jaunted]
Not only does the Finnish Tourist Board want you to spend Christmas in Finland, but they also won't stop until you submit yourself to Santa and place your beating heart in his hands. While we're all for the magic of believing in Santa--he's real, it is not like 5-year olds are cruising tourism web sites in search of the big man's official web site. Yet the Finns are taking Santa's existence very very seriously:
Why does the real Santa Claus live in Finland? You can meet him on any day of the year, without any charge, only in Finland. Santa Claus' own animal, the reindeer, lives in Finland.Good to know!
Santa Claus, Lady Santa and the elves have time to relax in summer. This is when a lucky wanderer can see them angling or picking berries on the fells of Lapland. Sometimes Santa Claus has time for his favourite hobby, gold panning. He and his companions also go to the sauna and dare sometimes to dive into ice-cold lakewater after the intense heat of the sauna.Santa digs the sauna? You don't say. We wonder if he ever visits New York. There's a fabulous gym in midtown we'd like to recommend to him.
The welfare of all animals is close to Santa's heart, not only that of his own reindeer. For instance, in the zoological park in Ranua, Christmas is always celebrated by the animals, too, and all the arctic animals of the zoo participate in the festivities from the lemmings to the lynxes. The bears, though, hibernate during the Yuletide season and cannot unfortunately take part in the Christmas party.Does that mean Santa takes to his lemmings like Hollywood starlets to their yorkies? Someone get US Weekly on line 2; we smell a photo op.
Lest that not be enough for you, the Board also wants you to know that Santa has an internet television channel and private reindeer-herding territories in Lapland. Come on now...all that, and he doesn't have a blog yet?
· Finland and Santa Claus [VisitFinland.com]