The tiny town may be 6,000 kilometers south from the North Pole, although the residents are some of Santa’s best helpers. That’s because every year, these volunteer elves get nearly 25,000 letters intended for Old Saint Nick. The U.S. Postal Service ensures they arrive irrespective of how they’re addressed.
Ed Reinhart, who can serve as Chief Mail Elf, reports, “They come in the mail and that’s all they have got about them – Santa or Santa, North Pole. A number of them say ‘the guy inside the big red suit’.” Other times, letters from young children arrive without having a stamp or perhaps a sticker in the corner.
Head Elf Pat Koch says the volunteers answer every one of them, and also have been the process for over a century. “Through the earliest we all know is that the postmaster started answering letters in 1914 that children wrote.”
By 1930, the postmaster was overwhelmed. When Pat’s father heard, he organized local veterans, the American Legion, area clergy as well as the high school typing classes into the first volunteer letter-writing elves. Pat started helping 10 years later.
These days, the elves distribute certainly one of four form santa letters that bear positive messages about sharing, being good, and helping others. “We never promise anything, and that we never admonish anything. We simply encourage,” Pat says, adding that every letter is individualized. “So they have got their name around the letter and there’s something personal.”
Whilst they make an effort to answer every letter, the elves are saddened when no return address is included. Their research team attempts to track the letters by post marked zipcode, but sometimes that’s not enough. So that they encourage parents to continually search for return addresses before letters are mailed. To acquire a reply from Santa, letters must arrive by December 21. The elves will respond next, but it could be a couple of days late.
Letters to Santa arrive year-round, but the bulk of them can be found in November and December. Ed Rinehart believes there isn’t a country that hasn’t been heard from.
This season, Hatchimals (electronic toys that come in plastic eggs), iPhones, puppies, and ponies are common big requests from kids. But there are numerous requests from adults too. Teenagers from China ask to perform well on exams or get into university. “We’ve had some adults which may have asked for a diamond ring or possibly a husband,” Rinehart reports using a laugh. “We’ve had adults that demand healing.”
Upon an average day, he requires a thousand letters on the post office, where he stamps them with a Santa Claus stamp, engineered annually by way of a local high school student.
The elves of Santa Claus never dreamed their good deeds would get so much attention. Despite suggestions that folks buy the letters from Santa, they hold firm inside their dexopky92 to continue the service for free. As Pat Koch says, “Exactly what happens, happens seeing as there are good those who cherish the real Christmas spirit and also the real concept of Christmas.”