Santa departs on his annual Christmas journey

Santa had a special message for parents from their children who just had "many hopes for a time (spent) together".

"We have all lived through really different and difficult times. The Christmas season will hopefully bring a little relief for those special times to continue," Santa told his virtual audience.

"Now, is the time to relax and to spend Christmas with your loved ones, but it is also worth remembering friends and relatives, or even acquaintances who can be connected in a variety of new, different ways. No one is left alone. Contact is sure to please," he added.

He then left on his sleigh through the snowy forest.

Every year thousands of people from around the world make their way to Santa Claus Village near Rovaniemi, in northern Finland, to visit Santa and his busy elves.