Monday, December 7, 2015

Dear Santa

Some letters are torn. Others are stained (peanut butter being the most popular), folded, crumpled, creased into paper airplanes.  They are written in crayon, marker, pen, pencil and on computer.  Some have been illustrated and some have been given an assist from mom or dad.  The grammar is often atrocious and the spelling worse - but one thing is for sure, these letters are loaded with charm.

Head Elf, Pat Koch sifted through thousands of letters to compile this silly and often heartwarming collection of letters from the 1930-'s through the present.  Pat lives in Santa Claus, Indiana - yes, that is a real place. In 1930, her father began helping the Postmaster of SC, Indiana answer each and every Santa letter that passed through the local office.  When he grew too ill to continue, Pat moved home and took over without missing a single jingle.  Lucky for us she has generously shared the joys of her work.

Whether the envelopes come with stamps or without, are addressed to "The Big Red Guy on Jingle Bell Lane" of simply "To Santa", for over 100 years, millions of these letters have poured into Santa Claus, Indiana from all parts of the world.  The are candid, warm, whimsical, and often blunt.  One child hopes to make life better with a time machine. An adult woman asks for a man.  

I have two personal favorites.  A boy asking for his own elf at first agrees to return the little  guy to the North Pole after a pre-determined length of time. By the end of the letter, he has reconsidered that offer and says it would be best if he just kept the elf and gave Santa updates every three months or so.  

Flipping through the book I stopped randomly on a letter from the 90's.  This kid is probably a CEO in some Fortune 500 company by this time.  He gives Santa some advice in his letter which I'm paraphrasing because if I start to hunt for it again, I'll get lost reading and not get back to this post for a while.  Basically, he advises Santa saying "You've got a big night ahead of you.  Don't eat a big meal; that will slow you down.  Your'best course of action is to get in, leave the gifts and get out."  CEO material, right?

This is definitely  a keepsake book.  And, who knows, maybe you'll find your letter to Santa inside.  

Thanks for stopping by
LaDeDa Bev