The idea of Santa Claus coming down the chimney to fill stockings on Christmas Eve is one that has intrigued children for centuries. In houses where there is no fireplace, parents may need to be a little creative in coming up with an alternative. Here are a few answers parents have provided their children over the years to answer the question of how Santa gets inside a house when there’s no chimney.

He Simply Makes One

One explanation for how Santa comes through a chimney that doesn’t exist is that he simply makes one by waving a magical wand. After entering a house and putting presents inside, he then exits through the chimney he created, and then waves his magic wand again to make it disappear before moving on to the next house. Some variations of this story have him sprinkling magic dust over top of a house instead.


Through the Front or Back Door

Many parents elect to tell their children that Santa Claus comes in through the front or back door of their house rather than entering through a chimney. This may be a better explanation for those who live in apartment complexes, as the idea of having Santa create a chimney on top of a building simply wouldn’t make sense. Some families hang a skeleton key outside their door on Christmas Eve along with a note telling Santa Claus to use it to let himself in when he gets there. In order to qualm any fears about bad guys using the key to enter, parents often explain that Santa must sprinkle magic dust on the key in order for it to work, which is something no one else would be able to do. Many stores sell special “Santa keys” for children to hang outside their doors on Christmas Eve.

Through Pipes or Cracks in the Wall

If there are openings such as pipes cracks or even vents available, Santa Claus could easily use them to enter a home on Christmas Eve. Some people hold to the fact that Santa Claus has the ability to shrink himself, and that he also uses this technique when going through chimneys as well. As such, he could easily make himself small enough to enter through the tiniest of openings, and then revert back to normal size once his work inside was finished.

Walking through Walls

If Santa Claus could sprinkle magic dust on a roof to make a chimney or operate a special key, why couldn’t he use this dust to walk through walls? Legend has it that St. Nicholas sprinkles a bit of dust on himself when he arrives at a house, allowing him to walk through walls without any problem.

Through a Window

Santa Claus could enter a house with no chimney through a window. He could sprinkle dust on himself in order to climb through it, or wave a magic wand in order to open it. Parents could explain that this is sometimes more convenient if the window is located near the Christmas tree, and this helps Santa save time while making his rounds.

There are a variety of ways to explain how Santa Claus enters a house without a chimney that are only limited by one’s imagination. Any of these anecdotes can be used to preserve the legend of Santa Claus in the hearts and minds of children, but even more importantly, can keep the spirit of Santa Claus, which truly does exist, alive and well.

June Samuels is an environmentally friendly interior design, DIY home improvement expert and blogger for