While the rest of the country enjoys a break this Christmas, some Finns must work hard to help Santa through the holidays. After all, there is no way Santa can deliver gifts to the entire world on his own. Some are even ready to travel to the other side of the globe to do their share.
Valtteri is from Tornio, a town on the Swedish border in northern Finland. This year will be his eighth year helping out Santa in various ways.
“China is one of the countries ordering a lot of holiday services and they want Finnish Santas. That’s how guys like me end up going there – to bring them a Finnish Christmas,” says Valtteri.
Santa’s potential as a Finnish export product has also been noticed by the Finnish government. In December parliament approved 300,000 euros of funding for advertising in China, all to promote Finland’s expertise in the Father Christmas business.
Asia is a particularly attractive growth market, thanks to the excellent links provided by the national carrier Finnair. The lack of any historical cultural baggage also provides an interesting opportunity: Santa could become a year-round character, rather than just a Christmas thing.