Each year, two million letters arrive at a special post office in New York’s main post office in midtown Manhattan. Unofficially, US Postal Service Santas have been responding to letters and providing gifts of good cheer since the 1920s. Today it’s Pete Fontana, head of the “Operation Santa” project, who has been overseeing Santa’s responses to all those letters. What strikes Pete most about this year’s letters is that kids no longer want toys.
Instead, they’re asking for warm boots, hats, and gloves for them and their siblings because their moms lost their jobs. They’re asking Santa to give a recently departed parent a hug and kiss in Heaven. They’re asking Santa to find their parents jobs. They want a permanent home to live in, rather than a homeless shelter. They want medicines for grandma. They want their divorced parents and separated siblings to be reunited again for the holidays. They want turkeys for their holiday dinner. As if by magic, the donations came rolling in this year, as they have in the past, and the USPS volunteers set their sights on making many kids’ wishes come true.
Of course, the busy Manhattan Santas can’t tackle every letter. That’s why there are other 24 other post office locations where Santa letters may end up. Also, there is a place called Santa Claus, Indiana, home to 2,000 people and 30,000 annual Christmas letters from young girls and boys who fancy they’ve been good this year.
In the days of digital savvy, there is even a SmartPhone app that allows children the ability to send their letter to Santa (which is conveniently redirected to their parents’ phone.) Today’s letters to Santas have become complex in more ways than one, I’m sorry to report. In 2008, a registered sex offender was responding to Dear Santa letters! Imagine that! As a result, there will be no more letters sent to North Pole, Alaska, where the offender lived. Now there are stricter guidelines requiring all volunteers to show ID and undergo a background check before writing to little Johnnie or little Suzy.
Disney’s A Muppets Christmas Letters to Santa was a funny Christmas Special but probably not the best represntation of how it works. 🙂
|Article: Jennn Fusion