Santa is packing up his sleigh and shining Rudolph’s nose as he gears up for his worldwide journey this week, but he took time out to give his annual message to children everywhere.
This year, old St. Nick asked for friendship and tolerance, saying, "I would ask the young people -- always the young people are our future -- that they should treat everybody equal,” according to a Sky News report.
"They [children] should make friends, they should support one another. If a newcomer has problems they would help each another," Santa said.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to the Santa Village resort in Rovaniemi, northern Finland, each year to catch a glimpse of Santa and his reindeer, and to see his workshop.
Children from all over the globe write letters to Santa that arrive in Santa's post office nearby. The letters are sorted by country, and the resort town’s Santa tries to reply to as many as possible.
Last year, most of the letters came from Italy, followed by the United Kingdom, Poland and China.
Many kids hope for toys, but others ask for less material things, according to one of the local elves, Christina.
"Toys, of course, but their wishes are also, they want peace in the world and they want to spend more time with their families," she said.