By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,515)
“Every year I write a long letter asking you lots of odd personal questions. But don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful. This year I had a new idea because I’m sure you get so many letters every year, I thought I would try to save you time with a shorter letter…” went the handwritten letter from two youngsters in Manchester. The letter went on to ask Santa Claus for global peace and to work on climate change – according to Donna Martin who read the letter. (see below left photo.)
That’s a lot to work on, but we will certainly get going and see what we can do – was the consensus of everyone in Santa’s Mail Room, otherwise known as the Main Post Office on Forest Avenue this afternoon. (Donna Martin, Reads the “Short” Letter from Manchester at Left below.)
Today was important because it’s the last day that letters to children from Santa can be mailed with certainty they will be received by Christmas. Cathey Butts, a long-time Elf in Santa’s Mail Room said she has noticed a change in what children ask for in their letters this year. Most of the requests are for gift cards and for more technology items. One ten year old girl asked for adult make-up. “Kids are maturing earlier now,” she said. (See above right photo.)
Maine has responded to between 700 – 800 letters to Santa this year said Steve Doherty, Communications Programs Specialist for the northeast area. Most of them are responded to at the Portland branch. That’s because the processing office is in nearby Scarborough and mail to Santa Claus at the North Pole ends up in Portland for response. (See above right photo.)
During the 1990s when there were fewer letters to answer, the Elves were able to be more pro-active in their responses to children. Some even went out on Christmas Day to deliver gifts to those especially in need. But things have changed now.