American cities and towns with Christmas names

Written by:
November 23, 2017
Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau

American cities and towns named after christmas

Can you imagine living in a town where it’s Christmas all year-round? From coincidental names like Garland and Snowflake, to more over-the-top holiday tributes (like the town that literally changed its name to a Secret Santa website), towns across the country are more than happy to embrace their wintry names—regardless of season or climate.

Using information from the United States Census Bureau, Stacker found 29 cities and towns across America whose names embody the spirit of Christmas. Some towns take the festivities more seriously than others— think Christmas-themed streets, year-round yuletide attractions, and huge holiday markets—while others reflect on the story behind the season. Let’s take a virtual sleigh ride as we get to know these festively named locations, and the different ways they celebrate.

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Mwanner // Wikimedia

#29. North Pole, NY

Population: 1,341

Founded: 1949

Nestled in New York's Adirondack Mountains, North Pole is a small town that pulls out all the stops for Christmas. It’s the home of Santa’s Workshop (one of the first American theme parks), open year-round for visitors craving holiday magic. Naturally, the festivities peak in December—and this charming destination holds special family weekends and events throughout the month.

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Jellis Vaes // Shutterstock

#28. Rudolph, WI

Population: 1,088

Founding Date: 1960

Located in the center of Wisconsin, the town of Rudolph was not originally named after the reindeer, but rather for a boy who was born there. The red-nosed holiday icon is still very important to the town: he’s featured on a stamp and postmark at the city’s post office, and in a year-round window display at the Fisher Antique Store. The town also features the annual “Rudolph Country Christmas” event, which pays tribute to the most famous reindeer of all.

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Redbullet16 // Wikicommons

#27. North Pole, AK

Population: 2,232

Founding Date: 1953

Along the Tanana River lies the city of North Pole, Alaska—named by the Dahl and Gaske Development Company in the hopes of attracting holiday business. Today, the city features Christmas-themed streets (Santa Claus Lane, for example), a Santa-inspired house, candy cane street lights, and an annual Winter Festival.

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ShootingforStars // Wikicommons

#26. Bethlehem, PA

Population: 75,293

Founding Date: 1741

About two hours north of Philadelphia, the city of Bethlehem refers to itself as “Christmas City, USA.” Originally a Moravian settlement, the community was given the name Bethlehem on Christmas Eve of its first year in existence. The town pays tribute to its German roots with its annual Christkindlmarkt, a European-inspired Christmas market recognized twice by Travel + Leisure as one of the best in the country.

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Unknown // Wikicommons

#25. Christmas Cove, ME

Population: 948

Founding Date: 1765

Located on Maine’s mid-coast, the small town of Christmas Cove was believed to be named for John Smith’s landing there in December of 1614 (although there is some speculation to the historical accuracy). Despite its winter-themed moniker, Christmas Cove is actually most popular in the summer months—it’s a prime yachting destination.

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Ozark Postcard Publishers, Monett, Mo. // Wikicommons

#24. Noel, MO

Population: 1,816

Founded: N/A

The small town of Noel is located in the southwest corner of Missouri. It got the nickname “Christmas City” after its special holiday postmark, proposed by the town’s postmaster in the 1930s. The tradition has grown over the decades, and now, tens of thousands of people continue to send season’s greetings through the town each year.

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KiwiDeaPi // Wikicommons

#23. Christmas, MI

Population: 400

Founded: 1938

The community of Christmas can be found on the upper peninsula of Michigan, and was given its name by a factory owner. Every single business in town is committed to the Santa Claus theme, including the nearby Yule Log Resort (located, naturally, on Candy Cane Lane).

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Oksana Mizina // Shutterstock

#22. Eggnog, UT

Population: unknown

Founded: 1979

Depending on your opinion of this often-polarizing holiday beverage, the name of this community will delight or disgust you. Eggnog, Utah is located in Garfield County, and is believed to be named for the eggnog served to stockmen.

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Michael Rivera // Wikipedia

#21. Dasher, GA

Population: 979

Founded: 1893

Located at the southern end of Georgia, the town of Dasher was not named after one of Santa’s reindeer, but rather the Daescher family who settled on the land. Regardless, the town celebrates the holiday with traditional festivities like Christmas caroling.

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Rick Shu // Wikimedia

#20. St. Marys, GA

Population: 18,088


The coastal city of St. Marys lies near the Georgia-Florida state line and gets its name from the St. Marys River. You probably won’t see snowflakes in this temperate southern locale, but you can still get into the spirit of the season. Their annual Christmas in the Park event is held on the water and features a trolley that hands out stockings to children.

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RoxylovesHistory // Wikimedia

#19. Mount Holly, NC

Population: 14,495

Founded: 1875

The suburban city of Mount Holly lies a bit west of Charlotte, North Carolina. Even though it was originally named for the Mount Holly Cotton Mill, residents certainly know how to get jolly. Residents celebrate with an annual Christmas parade and the “Santa at the Grand Hall” event.

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Mojo Hand // Wikicommons

#18. Wintergreen, VA

Population: 377

Founded: unknown

Mostly made up of the Wintergreen Resort, this snowy-sounding town is located in central Virginia. During the holiday season, this destination offers events like "Santa on the Slopes," crafting workshops, and story time with Mrs. Claus.

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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia

#17. Evergreen, AL

Population: 3,693

Founded: 1819

Located near the southern border of Alabama, Evergreen was named for its abundant foliage. The name inspires a festive vibe year-round—the town lines its main street with Christmas trees, and hosts an annual holiday market and parade.

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Ken L. // Flickr

#16. Snowflake, AZ

Population: 5,764

Founding Date: 1878

The small town of Snowflake is a three-hour drive from Phoenix. The name actually comes from Mormon leaders Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake. Even though their winters typically aren’t white, residents get into the holiday spirit with a "12 Days of Christmas" event every December.

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Bureau of Land Management

#15. Christmas Valley, OR

Population: 1,073

Founded: 1963

Christmas Valley is a small community in the middle of Oregon that was named after nearby Christmas Lake. Although small in size, the town's annual Light Parade in December is big on the Christmas spirit. The parade features holiday floats, caroling, and treats like free cookies and hot beverages.

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Inara Prusakova // Shutterstock

#14. Joy, IL

Population: 385

Founded: 1894

Close to the western border of Illinois, the town of Joy has a post office that thrives during the holiday season. More than 12,000 cards from around the world are sent there every December for its special holiday postmark.

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Michael Rivera // Wikimedia

#13. Santa Claus, GA

Population: 166

Founded: 1941

Santa Claus, located west of Savannah, is a place where residents pack in as much Christmas spirit as possible (though the town only consists of 0.2 square miles). Streets feature names like Candy Cane Road and December Drive, and jolly old St. Nick himself greets visitors on a sign marking the city’s entrance.

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sevenMaps7 // Shutterstock

#12. Holly Springs, MI

Population: 7,682

Founded: 1836

Close to the northern border of Mississippi lies the city of Holly Springs. To get ready for the holidays, the city holds a Christmas Historic Home Tour—a ticketed event where visitors can walk through historic homes that have been decorated to the nines for the season.

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TomFawls // Wikicommons

#11. Christmas, FL

Population: 2,211

Founded: unknown

The town of Christmas is a short drive east from Orlando. It was named for Fort Christmas, which was built on Christmas Day in 1837 during the Second Seminole War. People send in mail from all over to the country to get its postmark on their holiday cards.

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Todd Huffman // Wikicommons

10. Santa Claus, AZ

Population: 0

Founded: 1937

Fans of ghost towns will covet this abandoned Christmas-themed town, located in the Mojave Desert. The Santa’s Land attraction was once a popular year-round holiday stop, but it ceased operations in the mid 1970s. If you’re looking for a (slightly creepy) blast from the past, you’re in luck: its candy-striped buildings remain standing.

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T.Slack // Shutterstock

#9. Nazareth, PA

Population: 5,685

Founded: 1740

Like Bethlehem, Nazareth is another Pennsylvania community founded by Moravian missionaries and named for a town from the Bible. To celebrate the season, the local Moravian Historical Society hosts an annual Christmas event, featuring an ice-carver, storytelling, traditional treats and craft merchants.

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marcociannarel // Shutterstock

#8. Bethlehem, NC

Population: 4,620

Founded: unknown

Another little town of Bethlehem sits on Lake Hickory in North Carolina. Its residents know how to get into the holiday spirit with the "Christmas in Bethlehem" drive-through. Local churches and volunteers put on dozens of nativity scenes that visitors can explore by car or on foot.

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Ed Schipul //Wikimedia

#7. Sugar Land, TX

Population: 88,177

Founded: 1853

Located slightly southwest of Houston, the evocative city of Sugar Land is actually named for its connection to the sugar industry. The city celebrates with events in Sugar Land Town Square, including photos with Santa, caroling, and the lighting of a 40-foot Christmas tree.

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Kapa65 // Pixabay

#6. Mistletoe, KY

Population: 53

Founded: unknown

The town of Mistletoe was named for the plant, which can be found growing in the area. Mistletoe is well-known as a symbol of Christmas romance, due in part to its history as a fertility symbol—eventually evolving into a traditional decoration for couples to share a kiss beneath.

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#5. Santa Claus, IN

Population: 2,463

Founded: 1846

Here’s yet another town dedicated to old Saint Nick. Originally called Santa Fe, the town changed its name to Santa Claus and was home to a decorative sleigh manufacturer. The town includes a theme park called Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari, the annual 1.2 mile Santa Claus Land of Lights, and a live reindeer exhibit.

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Hugh C. Leighton // WIkicommons

#4. Winter Park, FL

Population: 30,208

Founded: 1887

A short ride north from Orlando is the city of Winter Park, which was originally founded as a resort to escape frigid northern temperatures. Although their winters are mild, their Winter on the Avenue event includes man-made snow, an ice-skating rink, a tree-lighting celebration, and a visit from Santa.

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Russell Sekeet // Wikicommons

#3. St. Joseph, MI

Population: 60,853

Founded: 1834

On the shores of Lake Michigan lies the city of St. Joseph. To get ready for the holiday season, they host events like Light Up the Bluff and the Live Mannequins Event, where volunteers pose like mannequins in Christmas-decorated storefronts.

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Randy Colborn // Wikicommons

#2. Garland, TX

Population: 234,943

Founded: 1891

Conjuring images of holiday decor, this large Dallas-area city was actually named after General Augustus Hill Garland. The town's Christmas on the Square event features ice carving, a meet-and-greet with Santa, and a tree-lighting ceremony. 

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sevenMaps7 // Shutterstock

#1. Santa, ID

Population: 320

Founded: 1894

This unincorporated area made headlines in 2005 when it changed its name to for a year, receiving a large sum of money from the website in exchange. Santa is home to yet another post office that's particularly popular during the holiday season among those wanting its festive postmark.

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