I remember writing many letters to Santa Claus when I was younger, but I never believed he ever saw them, due to the unreliable form of delivery.
Oh, no, not the Postal Service! Let me explain:
The first few letters I remember writing made it to the post box on the street corner a few blocks from our house. Mum would walk the three of us: Handsome, Sweetie and I to the postal box and help us put our letters into it. She made certain, the little envelopes (business #8’s if anyone else remembers) went down the chute.
Those letters *somebody* saw because I got my presents and a couple spares I didn’t ask for. (Will explain in a later post.).
The next collection of letters were written at school, collected in decorated boxes and picked up (Intercepted, is more like it) that afternoon by one of the Jolly Elf’s helpers (again, probably a spy from a rival toy-making company) — as we were told (a sugar-coated story to disguise the mishap) over the public address system by the principal (who discovered he was had, but it was too late), the next morning.
The next batch of letters were written by my trio of Army men in the mid 1990s. We dropped them in the postal box across the street — this was before Captain had a plan: to write to Santa three times:
- Letter A was put in the mailbox (done)
- Letter B was given to one of the elves participating with Santa in the Christmas Parade — it was sheer genius! My boy was only 4years-old at the time, when he thought of it; and,
- Letter C would be hand-delivered from the writer to the Jolly Old Elf himself, when we visit the Mall for Christmas Pictures! Again, Captain’s shining logic was simple in theory and execution.
But then, the School had their own idea: the letters they collected were sent to the local newspaper … the newspaper! How silly, don’t they know Santa Claus is a toy-maker not a newspaper editor!
The story that got around to all the parents (eventually) was that the letters were written far too late to get to Santa in time by Post, so the Editor called ahead, and FAXed every letter to the North Pole instead!
But the biggest surprise came in the last paper published before Christmas. A pull-out section called, “Letters Delivered to Santa!”
Only first names of the children were given, along with ages, grade level and the school they attended. Every letter was printed exactly as written with spelling mistakes, run-on sentences, grammatical errors and more. Some of the more challenging letters that were difficult to read were reproduced in hopes that parent volunteers could translate.
I would read some of the letters aloud at breakfast. And even though many years passed since I wrote, and twenty since my lads did, the letters in the paper were mostly typical, but a rare couple did not disappoint.
The little ladies requested dolls, with fashion accessories or split-level houses, pink sports cars with handsome, beach-body boyfriends; but the little men were a bit more creative.
The boys were wanting Lego, Magnetix, dinosuars, Army men, Transformers, bows with arrows (I kid you not), science lab kits and personal video gaming units; but a couple boys were harder negotiators.
Four young men wanted to trade their little sisters for little brothers, while another dissatisfied customer just wanted Santa to return her as defective, “because her volume wouldn’t shut off!”