It appears the bearded guy who is famous for giving out presents needs a little help with his own finances.
Santa Claus is filing bankruptcy.
Well, kind of.
The bankruptcy isn't being filed in the United States, so we don't know if it is Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 or Chapter 13. The company (Dianordia), that owns a popular tourist attraction in the Arctic Circle portion of Finland and bills itself as the home of Santa, owes over $230,000.00 in back taxes. An effort to save Santa’s Office, part of an amusement park called Santa Claus Village, is halfway to collecting the money needed to satisfy the tax obligation from donations.
Dianordia has a week to come up with the money to keep the park open.
Every year approximately 300,000 tourists from 100 different countries visit Santa’s Office in Finnish Lapland. But an economic problem in neighboring Russia, which sends the most tourists to Finland, has reduced the number of visitors. Finnish border guards report a drop of 33 percent in border crossings between Finland and Russia. The park also attracts tourists from Portugal, Spain and Greece in large numbers and those countries have also experienced currency issues. Attendance from China continues to be strong at Santa Claus Village.
While Santa’s financial situation is a concern, an official for the Rovaniemi Regional Development Agency said there is no danger of Santa Claus closing his office.
“There is no way the Village will be left without Santa Claus, said Juha Seppala of the SRDA. “The activities will continue in one way or the other.”
While Santa Claus may be experiencing some tight times, there is no danger of Christmas being canceled this year. It is still going to be a happy Christmas, even if Santa has to get a little help to pay his bills.