There are a handful of U.S. towns where you can celebrate Christmas all year long if you like.
BOSTON (MainStreet) -- Every day is Christmas in a way when you live in the southern Indiana town of Santa Claus.
"You can celebrate Christmas all year long here if you like," says Santa Claus native Kara Hinshaw, a local Realtor. "When I was in college, I would tell people: 'I'm from Santa Claus, Ind., and I live on Shepherds Lane near Lake Noel in a neighborhood called Christmas Lake Village.' That definitely got a lot of giggles." In Santa Claus, Ind., downtown shops and offices have small Santa statues in front, while there's a Holiday World amusement park, a Lake Rudolph Campground and a Holiday Foods grocery store.
Some 100 U.S. communities have Christmas-like names, from Noel, Mo., to Mistletoe, Ky.
There are five towns called Christmas, four North Poles and seven named either Santa, Santa Claus or St. Nicholas.
And If that list reminds you of "The 12 Days of Christmas," you should know that America also has three Partridges and one Peartree.
Most communities with Christmas-like names are small towns, and they usually capitalize on their monikers -- often for tourists' benefit -- by giving local streets holiday-friendly names as well. Roads in Hinshaw's Christmas Lake Village neighborhood, for instance, have names such as Prancer Lane or Sleigh Bell Drive.
Santa Claus, Ind., and other "Christmas towns" also have December parades, holiday-themed shops and local post offices that happily give special postmarks to cards and letters that people send in from around the world.
"It's lots of fun here at Christmas time," Hinshaw says.
Here's a look at five U.S. towns with holiday-themed names, as well as details about how much a home in each will set you back:
Santa Claus, Ind.
Local lore holds that residents picked the name Santa Claus for Hinshaw's hometown during a Dec. 24 town meeting in the 1800s when the wind set church bells ringing and blew a door open.
"The kids starting shouting: 'It's Santa Claus!' and someone said: 'That's what the town's name will be,'" Hinshaw said.
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Located 95 miles south of Bloomington, Ind., Santa Claus plays heavily on its name for the benefit of locals and tourists. Most downtown shops and offices have small Santa statues in front, while there's a Holiday World amusement park, a Lake Rudolph Campground and a Holiday Foods grocery store.
Hinshaw says many local homes even have a "Christmas room" that's decorated in a holiday motif all year long.
"You really feel the Christmas spirit when you're here -- no matter what time of year it is," she says.
Realtor.com lists some 50 homes in Santa Claus for sale, from a $70,000 three-bedroom ranch to a $4 million six-bedroom estate. Hinshaw is the listing agent for both.
North Pole, Alaska
Originally called Davis, this town 15 miles southeast of Fairbanks switched its name to North Pole in 1953 at the behest of a developer who hoped toy companies would build factories there.
That didn't happen, but the community -- which is actually 1,700 miles south of the real north pole -- has embraced a Christmas theme nonetheless. Many streetlights look like giant candy canes, while roads have names such as Santa Claus Lane and Kris Kringle Drive. There are also Christmas-centric events all year long, from December's "Christmas on Ice" festival to a "Cruisin' with Santa" classic-car show during the warmer months.
"North Pole is great town where the local businesses buy into the idea that it truly is Christmas all year long," real estate broker Wesley Madden says.
He adds that the town, which has lots of military families because it's close to Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base, also offers a strong community feel.
"I say it a hundred times: 'I don't live here for the 40 below winters; I live here for the people,' " Madden says.
For those interested in moving to North Pole, Realtor.com lists some 100 homes for sale there. Prices range from $48,000 for a one-bedroom cabin to $355,000 for a six-bedroom home on 2 acres.
This town is a some 20 miles east of Orlando, roughly between Disney World and Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic Ocean.
The community draws its name from Fort Christmas, a military installation said to have been founded Dec. 25, 1837, during the Second Seminole War.
Nearly 200 years later, the local post office gets some 20,000 pieces of mail per day between Thanksgiving and Dec. 25 from people seeking "Christmas, FL" postmarks for cards and letters.
Christmas also has several holiday-themed roads -- from Antler Street to Hobby Horse Lane -- as well as a Fort Christmas museum and other tourist attractions.
If you're looking to move to town, Realtor.com lists eight homes for sale there. Prices range from $28,000 for a three-bedroom "fixer-upper" to a $319,000 four-bedroom home with 5 acres.
Christmas Valley, Ore.
This tiny community some 275 miles southeast of Portland, Ore., takes its name from nearby Christmas Lake, which legend has it famed West Coast explorer John C. Fremont named on Christmas Eve 1843.
Another story holds that the lake is named -- with a slight misspelling -- after early settler Peter Christman.
Either way, Christmas Valley has plenty of holiday-themed streets today, from Jingle Bell Road to Christmas Tree Lane.
Located in a rural, semi-arid region, the community offers hunting, horseback riding and lots of other outdoor activities. All-terrain-vehicle enthusiasts love tooling around on the Christmas Valley Sand Dunes, while hikers enjoy the 2-mile Crack in the Ground geologic formation.
Realtor.com lists about a dozen Christmas Valley-area homes for sale, with prices ranging from $40,000 for a one-bedroom cabin on a 5-acre lot to $699,000 for a 637-acre retreat with a two-bedroom home.
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