Think Santa arrives on a reindeer-driven sleigh and then magically slides down your chimney?
Maybe in the fairy tales. But these days Santa has had to adapt and find all sorts of creative ways to make his grand entrance.
Whether it's donning a pair of skis, jumping out of a plane or grabbing a surf board, Santa has found new and unusual ways to spread holiday joy. There's even a sexy Santa -- a buff, shirtless man whose sleigh is pulled by Ferraris. His helpers: Miami Dolphins cheerleaders. We guess he's not stopping for milk and cookies at each house.
But the most unusual of these modern-age Santas might just be the 4-foot, 5-inch one at Ripley's Believe It or Not in New York's Times Square. This so-called reverse Santa actually sits on your lap.
"It puts a different twist on going to meet Santa," said Jon Sinish, who plays the role for Ripley's. "Everybody's been laughing. They are in on what's happening."
The reverse Santa isn't so much about telling Santa what you want for Christmas -- Ripley's leaves that up to the department stores and malls -- but really about a good photo opportunity. (They of course sell visitors the image and can add it to key chains and magnets.)
Sinish is hardly alone in finding unique ways to bring holiday joy to people around the world. Here is a roundup of some of our favorite Santas.
Skydiving Santa: Tropical resorts can't exactly have Santa arrive in a sleigh. Last year, Santa arrived at the Four Seasons Resort Mauritius in a pirate boat. This year, he plans to skydive into the island resort.
Surfing Santa: When you live right next to the ocean, why not carry a surfboard, even if you are Santa? In Santa Monica, Calif., Santa can be seen around town with his long board, catching a few waves.
Zip Line Santa: At Adventures on the Gorge in West Virginia, Santa joins those taking a zip line canopy tour through the snowy tree tops. Guests zip through a forest of rhododendrons and old-growth Eastern Hemlocks while getting a bit of the jolly North Pole spirit. Across the country -- and a bit warmer -- California's Catalina Island also has a Santa who enjoys zip lines.
Skiing Santa: Skiers across the country are likely to see Santa flying down the slopes next to them.
At Utah's Canyons resort, the management offers free lift tickets once a year to the first 50 guests who don St. Nick's attire. Santa can also been seen later on handing out candy and treats to skiers. At nearby Park City Mountain Resort, Santa arrives in a special sleigh-like chairlift. A second appearance, a few days later, comes with 100 skiing elves.
Skiers at Colorado's Crested Butte Mountain resort are likely to see a skiing Santa and a snowboarding Grinch. At Loveland Ski Area, Santa is often seen carving big turns through the powder. Winter Park Resort offers skiing with Santa daily during the week prior to Christmas and features the jolly guy skiing down a run to anxiously awaiting families on Christmas Eve during a torchlight parade.
Motorcyle Santa: At Capella Pedregal in Mexico's Cabo San Lucas, Santa and his elves arrive at the resort each year on Harleys. It is Mexico, after all, and reindeer would seem a bit out of place.