Santa Claus, Georgia

Santa Claus City Hall Front Day Santa Claus, GA

A Holly, Jolly Little Town

Last weekend, we went to visit Santa Claus.

Not the man. The town.

One of them anyway. There are actually three towns in the U.S. named Santa Claus: one in Indiana (that one’s the biggie), one in Arizona (that one’s now uninhabited), and one in our home state of Georgia.

Georgia’s Santa Claus lies on U.S. 1 halfway between Macon and Savannah. It got its name in the 1930s from C.G. “Farmer” Greene, who needed a gimmick to lure Florida-bound travelers to his pecan stand. The town incorporated in 1941, and for a decade or so, renown seemed within reach. 

Then along came the Interstate Miser[1]Soyia’s Brilliant Reference. I was paid to say this.. Tourists abandoned U.S. 1 for I-75 and I-95 and I-16. 

Today the pecan stand is long gone and the Santa Claus Motel shuttered. The only commercial businesses are a Minit Mart and a Dollar General. But the town of 200 remains a place of good cheer, with Santa statues at its northern and southern boundaries and roads with festive names like Rudolph Way and Holly Street.

And here’s a Christmas bonus: Santa Claus is only about 35 minutes from Claxton, Georgia—the Fruitcake Capital of the World. Of course, we had to check it out, too. Turns out, the history of fruitcake is pretty fascinating. (You can read about that here.) Meanwhile, keep scrolling to get to know Santa Claus.


Welcome to Santa Claus, GA
Shhh…

The town has two of these Santa statues, one on each of the dirt roads that border it. As you can see, Santa Claus is a “city that loves children.” 


Fred Soyia Selfie City Limits Santa Claus, GA
Don’t Be Childish

Is it just us, or from certain angles, does Santa look like he’s picking his nose? [2]Grow up, Soyia


Santa Claus Welcome Center Dusk Santa Claus, GA
Welcome

The little museum and gift shop are only open during the week. (We know it’s all volunteer-run, but we’d really recommend adjusting hours during December!) Peering inside, I saw a sign with what appeared to be a historical quote that read, “10 people, 40 dogs, and no reindeer.” 


Santa Claus Signs Collage Santa Claus, GA
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

I think we managed to get a shot of every holiday-themed street name in town. Can I make a motion to change Candy Cane Street to Candy Cane Lane? 


Santa Claus City Hall Sign Santa Claus, GA
City Hall

You’ll find the Santa Claus City Hall at 25 December Drive, naturally.


Santa Claus Mailbox Santa Claus, GA
Special Delivery

In front is a red mailbox emblazoned with the word “Believe.” Every holiday season, visitors drop thousands of Christmas cards into the mailbox for volunteers to adorn with a special “Santa Claus, Georgia” stamp. 


Letter with address blurred Santa Claus, GA
You’ve Got Mail

Note that it’s not an actual postmark. The only place you can get that is at the Santa Claus in Indiana. [3]Santa Claus, Indiana, is also the birthplace of Jay Cutler, so win some, lose some.


Santa Claus Chapel Dusk Santa Claus, GA
Santa Gardens

One of the town’s newest additions is a lovely little chapel that sits in a one-acre park. It’s open 24 hours a day. When we visited, we saw a sign advertising a Sunday morning service. 


Santa Claus Bench Santa Claus, GA
Rest a Spell

The park’s benches leave no doubt where you are.


Fred and Soyia Welcome Center Santa Claus, GA
Thanks!

We waited around until dark to take pictures of Christmas lights. As we snapped some of our trademark bad selfies, a young woman in a big, white truck stopped and asked if we’d like her to take our photo. Ah, that famous Southern hospitality. [4]Sorry Santa, I look like I ate all your cookies.


Wright's Lights Light Show Santa Claus, GA
Wright’s Lights

Living in Santa Claus clearly brings out the Clark Griswold in many residents [5]It’s a beaut, Clark!, who set up elaborate Christmas displays in their yards.  But the “Lights of Wrights” is in a category all its own. The Wright family has rigged up an actual stoplight to ensure that gawkers don’t run into each other as they meander the long driveway and marvel at their creations. If you go, roll down your windows so you can hear the accompanying Christmas music. Impressive!

Please follow and like us:

FredNotes[+]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *