I’m a sucker for trivia. It’s my Achilles heel, if you will. I hit Wikipedia a hundred times on a daily basis looking up dopey facts about things I see or hear during the day. So my ears perked up the other day when the radio station I was listening to had a trivia contest about the holiday season. The first question that was asked was “How many places are there in the U.S. named Santa Claus?” I had no clue what the answer was (it was two), but I thought that was kind of cool. First of all, that such a place even existed at all is neat…the fact that there are two is even better. I imagined a population full of elves; a place where reindeer were as common as squirrels and houses were made of candy and sugar instead of brick and mortar. Then reality set in and I landed at my desk in front of the massive amount of geographic data that I have access to and I wondered which place the real Santa would choose if he ever decided to leave the North Pole. So here’s how they measured up using Onboard’s Lifestyle Search Engine, with me playing the part of Santa trying to select my next place of residence.
There are a lot of factors that I (as Santa) must take into consideration when selecting where to move to. Health & Safety is a major concern. As the proprietor of a large scale toy manufacturing operation, I need to make sure that my workers aren’t afraid to come in to work everyday. Elves are a fragile lot and can get easily intimidated. Both Santa Clauses are lower than the national average of 100 when it comes to health and safety, so I think I’d be ok no matter which one I chose.
Having a place that is family friendly is also important. I want my elves to be able to enjoy the weekends and downtime with their spouses and children, plus Ms. Claus and I enjoy the occasional night out on the town. Santa Claus, Indiana gets a slight nod over Georgia but it’s marginal. Not really a true influencing factor.
Now come the reindeer…oh, the reindeer. Where would I be without them? They are the lynch pin to the whole operation. If they’re not happy, everything goes to pot. Santa Claus, Georgia more than triples Indiana’s score when it comes to the Pet Friendly index. I can already hear the tapping of their happy little hooves. Obviously Rudolph will have to weigh in heavily on this one, but I have a feeling I already know what he’s going to recommend.
Contrary to popular belief, I can’t just wave my arms to magically create toys and the elves don’t work for candy canes. I need to think about how the little guys are going to shelter themselves throughout the year. Neither place is particular pricey when it comes to home sale prices (at least when compared to the North Pole), so I’d probably need to take a look around to check out the area. I hear that Indiana has some great Christmas themed housing developments, which may end up swaying some of my supervisor elves into wanting to fork out the big bucks for housing.
Last…but certainly not least…is the climate. My natural girth is prohibitive of anything much warmer than freezing. I sweat like a fat man in Florida, even when it’s in the 40’s. Add to that the heavy coat and hat that I wear and I’ll melt like Frosty the Snowman when he got locked in that greenhouse (poor guy…didn’t stand a chance). I need a place that is cool in December when I do the lion’s share of my work. But it’s not just for me. The reindeer need it cool, too. Ever been around a sunburned reindeer? It smells like venison and can be very, very distracting.
Decisions, decisions…this is going to be a tough one. Too close to call, really. I still have some more information to process, but at least I know that I’ve got a mechanism to do it with. So with that I say: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Image Credit: Garry Knight on Flickr.com