Santa takes off from North Pole headquarters

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As he does this time each year, Santa Claus has taken off from his North Pole headquarters in Finland's Korvatunturi, Lapland, to deliver a merry Christmas to all the world.

He carries with him presents for all the world's children who have been nice for the past twelve months. Santa left his office early Friday morning for the ride over to his barn to assemble his full reindeer team and begin his global flight.

He's reportedly assigned --as per tradition-- Rudolph to lead his team again this year, assisted by Rudolph's cousin, dasher, who is known to be the fastest reindeer and the one who helps propel the speed of the rest of the team.

Unfortunately, Santa will also have to carry an extra bundle with him, a bunch of twigs and branches designated for all the not-so-nice folks.

According to an old Finnish custom, bullies receive no gifts, but just a bunch of dried birch tree branches.

With modern technology, Santa and his sleigh can be tracked online via several websites.

TRACK SANTA

Santa would like to remind all the children that they should be sleeping in bed before he comes down the chimney. Cookies and carrots are always welcomed and appreciated!