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Great Lakes Christmas Facts

Santa Claus, Indiana
The post office in this town receives thousands of Dear Santa letters each year. Community members volunteer their time to make sure that each child receives a reply.

Christmas, Michigan
This is a small unincorporated town in northern Michigan. Letters can be postmarked from their post office.

Monroe, Ohio
Visit a 6 story statue of Jesus in this small Ohio town.

Rudolph, Wisconsin
Could this be where Santa’s most famous reindeer was born?

Hunt City, Illinois
Birth place of Burl Ives who sang many delightful Christmas songs including “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “Holly, Jolly Christmas”.

Columbus, Ohio
Beverly D’Angelo, known as Ellen Griswold in the fun-loving movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, was born in Columbus, Ohio.

Hammond, Indiana
Is “A Christmas Story” your favorite holiday movie? It is for many. In the story, the little boy, Ralphie, spends the entire movie trying to figure out a way to convince Santa he needs a Red Ryder B B Gun. The story and screenplay for the movie were written by Jean Shepherd who is from Hammond, IN.

Norwood, Ohio
Most of us need to see “White Christmas” at least once during the holidays. Vera-Ellen, Judy Haynes in the movie, was born in Norwood, Ohio. Her sister, Betty Haynes, was played by Rosemary Clooney. Big love interest in the movie was Crosby. Judy’s love interest was the versatile Danny Kaye.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
The Andrews Sisters were born in Minneapolis, MN. They are probably best-known for the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, but one of their great contributions to modern music was when they joined Bing Crosby in a popular version of “Jingle Bells”. The song is on the “White Christmas” album that is still available in music stores today.

All Great Lakes States

The National Audubon Society has a Christmas “bird count”. The country is divided into geographic areas, where “circles” of bird watchers count the birds during the holiday season. For purposes of this event, the holiday season is from December 14th through January 5th each year. This is a great family activity, as well as a learning experience for everyone who is involved. The NAS has set up an online signup. If you are interested, check out their site at: http://www.audubon.org/bird/cbc/getinvolved.html

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, Oregon leads the country in production of “real” Christmas trees, but the Great Lakes states certainly hold their own. The statistics from 2000 on the NCTA’s website show that the 6 Great Lakes states produced almost 25% of the natural trees sold in that year. Of the Great Lakes States, stats for 2002 were as follows:
Indiana 12th 186,303 trees
Ohio 11th 372,957 trees
Illinois 16th 144,008 trees
Michigan 3rd 2,380,173 trees
Minnesota 9th 463,885 trees
Wisconsin 5th 1,605,981 trees

Total for Great Lakes 5,153,30
Total for all 50 states 20,808,065

For tips on how to choose and care for natural trees, visit the National Christmas Tree Association’s website at http://www.christmastree.org/home.cfm

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