Letters to Santa

Letters to Santa

To 6-year-old Hannah Gilmore, the North Pole is more than just a location on a map.

To her and hundreds of thousands of children like her, the North Pole is a place of wonder and magic – it’s the place they postmark their letters to every December.

And every year, more than 200,000 children like Hannah write letters addressed to the North Pole or Santa Claus – more than half of which end up in North Pole, Alaska.

“There is a North Pole, Alaska, post office,” Joan Welch, postmaster of the Baldwin City Post Office, said. “There are all kinds of things people can put on their letters if they want to get them postmarked at the North Pole.”

Hannah addressed her letter to Santa Claus, and after he reads it, she hopes he’ll respond, she said.

“She’s written a letter to Santa,” Director of Student Activities Cassie Gilmore said of her daughter. “But she’s also going to get one in the mail from him.”

The letter Hannah will receive will be addressed from Santa Claus at the North Pole and will say that he has a “really special surprise for you,” Cassie said.

When Welch receives letters to Santa Claus at the Baldwin City Post Office, she doesn’t return them to the sender. Instead, Welch sends each child a personalized letter addressed to him or her from Santa.

“It’s really not hard to do because we have all different forms of letters that we can just use on the computer,” Welch said. “The letter just thanks the child for writing to Santa and tells them to make sure they are really good.”

Last year alone, Welch said the Baldwin post office received 25 letters.

“I’ve already gotten two this year,” Welch said. “I just got them over the weekend.”

Each of these letters will be read and responded to, Welch said.

“I think most kids just want an answer,” she said.

Even Welch’s children have written letters to Santa.

“It makes them feel like they are really mailing a letter,” she said.

Cassie said she encourages her daughter to write to Santa for many reasons.

“I think that I truly believe in the magic of Christmas and not necessarily having faith in Santa,” Cassie said. “But I think when you’re young you believe anything is possible, and even though we’re older, I think there are things that happen at Christmas that are really special.”

When Santa Claus brings Hannah that “My Little Pony” she’s been asking for, Cassie said the look in her eyes is worth the trouble of mailing a letter.

“I just kind of believe that there’s that spirit of Christmas and everyone can be a Santa for someone in their own way.”