The tiny town may be 6,000 kilometers south of the North Pole, although the residents are a few of Santa’s best helpers. That’s because each year, these volunteer elves get nearly 25,000 letters intended for Old Saint Nick. The United states Postal Service ensures they arrive no matter how they’re addressed.
Ed Reinhart, who may serve as Chief Mail Elf, reports, “They come in the mail and that’s all they have got upon them – Santa or Santa, North Pole. A number of them say ‘the guy inside the big red suit’.” In other cases, letters from young children arrive without having a stamp or simply a sticker within the corner.
Head Elf Pat Koch says the volunteers answer every one of them, and possess been the process for more than a century. “In the earliest we know is 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 along with the senior high school typing classes into the first volunteer letter-writing elves. Pat started helping a decade later.
Nowadays, the elves distribute one among four form letter to santa that bear positive messages about sharing, being good, and helping others. “We never promise anything, and we never admonish anything. We encourage,” Pat says, adding that each letter is individualized. “So they may have their name about the letter and there’s something personal.”
As 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 local zip code, but sometimes that’s not enough. So 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 afterward, but it can be a few days late.
Letters to Santa arrive all year round, but the majority of them may 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 could come in plastic eggs), iPhones, puppies, and ponies are typical big requests from children. But there are numerous requests from adults too. Young people from China ask to accomplish well on exams or end up in university. “We’ve had some adults which have requested a diamond ring or possibly a husband,” Rinehart reports using a laugh. “We’ve had adults that demand healing.”
By using an average day, he takes a thousand letters towards the post office, where he stamps them a Santa Claus stamp, engineered each and every year with a local high school graduation student.
The elves of Santa Claus never dreamed their good deeds would get so much attention. Despite suggestions that men and women purchase the letters from Santa, they hold firm inside their dexopky92 to go on the service free of charge. As Pat Koch says, “Everything that happens, happens because there are good people who care about the true Christmas spirit along with the real concept of Christmas.”