Santa receives more than six million letters a year, according to a survey conducted by the Universal Postal Union in 2006. Finland received the majority, from over 150 countries as far away as Singapore. According to The Straits Times, Singpost absorbs the cost of routing all Santa mail, often bearing no address and simply the words “To Santa”, to Lapland, Finland, the site of Santa’s “official” post office, where hardworking volunteers respond to as many as 700,000 wish lists worldwide.
If you’re Canadian, Canada Post’s website advises children and parents to send letters to its specially created address: Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0. While in the United States, letters written to “Santa Claus, North Pole” get routed to the town of North Pole, Alaska, where volunteers from the town respond to letters. For parents who prefer to craft their own responses, they can get a North Pole postmark stamped on their envelopes by sending letters to Anchorage, Alaska’s main post office.
Kids however, don’t seem to care too much where Santa lives. In December 2010, two men from New York received hundreds of Santa letters addressed to their apartment in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. “Our address is on 22nd St, Apt #7, New York, NY 10011. Kids think that Santa Claus lives in Chelsea!” one of them told the New York Times. Feeling pressure from the growing mound of letters that appeared mysteriously at their doorstep, they set about finding volunteers via Facebook to assist them with responses.
But will the Internet put an end to the belief in Santa? In an age when typing "Is Santa Real" into Google could dispel the whole myth with a click, Canada Post claims that “Santa is no slouch when it comes to using new technology.” That’s right, Santa has his own email address, Twitter account and webpage called Santa’s corner, where kids can watch YouTube videos of him reading his favorite letters. You can even enlist the help of the North American Aerospace Defense Command to track Santa's every move on Christmas Eve. And for those kids permanently glued to their iPhones, parents can script a whole Santa narrative via an iPhone app called "Talking Santa”. The app includes a feature to send still image postcards; greetings can be displayed on Santa’s boxers as he moons the recipient.
Blog courtesy of: Wei-Ling Woo
Photo credit: Steffen Hudemann