Santa kinda got dragged in because Arctic cheek-by-jowl neighbours Canada, Russia, the USA, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Iceland have been ratcheting up their territorial claims to the polar region and its waters. In the AFP story above, Canada is worried about Russia's decision to reinsert its military presence in the Arctic after an absence following the Soviet Union's collapse.
Well, at least post-communist Russia won't be calling the old fella Comrade Claus!
AFP has another Santa story:
This one is about how, by Christmas Day, Santa would have received eight million letters from all over the world. Most children write to "Santa, North Pole". The French postal service gets the most such mail, even though France is nowhere near the North Pole.
Singaporeans may be more familiar with Finland's Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, which is on the Arctic Circle. Here's a current local travel ad pitched at Singaporeans:
Angie, Liane and I have been there, done that (more than 10 years ago). But be warned: sunrise and sunset occur within a couple of hours! And while we had fun on the reindeer and husky rides, the snowmobile was uncomfortable. Most of all, we never saw the Northern Lights.
Lynn, meanwhile, primed me to get into the Christmas mood by buying me reindeer antlers (and a red nose) for my little red car. I first hooked up the antlers in the back windows since I have a habit of winding down the driver's window to peer down while getting into a parking spot:
But I decided that they looked funny so far back so I fixed them to the front windows:
The red nose went to the front grille (abuthen).
Christmas decorations have also come up in my condo, such as this set-up near the entrance:
Finally, if a child posts a "Dear Santa, North Pole" letter in Singapore, what happens to it? Some inquisitive reporter should try and find out!