POMEROY, Ohio — The number of letters Santa Claus receives increases each year, and according to the United States Postal Service, they expect to deliver over 1,000,000 letters to the North Pole in November and December. Santa also receives letters in the form of emails.
When children first began to write letters to Santa, the Post Office struggled to deliver them because Santa didn’t have an address. In 1912, the United States Postal Service made Santa’s official address 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888.
According to Smithsonian Magazine, the use of the post office to contact Santa began as a particularly American phenomenon, and took hold as a Christmas tradition in the late 1800’s. Children in other countries had their own ways to contact him: Scottish children would shout their wishes up the chimney, while Europeans simply left out stockings or shoes on Christmas Eve to be filled by Father Christmas.
Since this is the busiest time for Santa, Mrs. Claus, and all the elves, groups around the country have offered to help by receiving letters and assisting with responses. This year, the Pomeroy Police Department decided to join the effort, and are hosting their first Letters to Santa program.
“We are doing all we can to help Santa this year,” said Pomeroy Police Chief Chris Pitchford. “From making sure Santa gets letters sent by local children, to our participation in Shop with a Cop.”
Pomeroy Police Officer Leif Babb is spearheading the effort, and stated that letters received at the Department by Dec. 8 will be personally processed, and each one will receive a response from Santa. Babb advised letters can be mailed to the Department, dropped off at the Pomeroy Police Station, or by email.
Pomeroy Police Chief Chris Pitchford met with Santa on Sunday to discuss the progress of the departments “Letters to Santa” program.
Santa thanked Chief Pitchford, and said he appreciated the assistance and enjoyed their partnership.
“We both have demanding jobs,” Santa said. “My job is to make sure everyone has a Merry Christmas, and his job is the safety of everyone in the community. I think we make a great team.”
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Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.