WARNING: SOME CONTENT MAY CAUSE DISTRESS TO ADULTS WITH A SENSITIVITY OF THE SKEPTICAL ORGAN
As the dark nights close in with the gentle gurgle of radiators, by the glow of the LED, children clamp eager tongues between determined teeth and set themselves to the very most importantest letter of their lives..
The first words are easy..
the next are harder..
Its me. But you knew that..
I hope you are well. My grandfather says you are older than him and he expects to drop dead any minute now. I hope you don’t, not before Christmas eve. You’ve got a lot to do..
I haven’t killed my brother this year. So here’s what I would like you to give me to make sure I don’t kill him next year either..
And that was always what we thought the important bit. Lick the envelope, twice for luck and address it. Everyone knows who Santa is so that’s not hard..
Did you ever wonder in those weaning years between childish acceptance and adult cynicism where all those letters might go? I always imagined a secret twisty chute like a candy cane gone crazy tucked in the corner of the mail room, winding its way deep underground, past icicles bigger than me, where a grumpy little elf in six layers of gloves sat waiting by the light of a flickering candle..
Who would have thought the most important bit of all was those last few words. Santa has a few of those elves dotted around..
If you live in the good old US of A then this would be a very good place to address it. But Santa isn’t going to punish kids for getting it wrong and even if you come from Timbuktoo it may well find its way to North Pole. Its a small town in the interior of Alaska. Surrounded by mountains, frequently experiencing temperatures around -70degrees, it boasts a Santa Claus Lane and has the worlds largest Santa statue outside its Santa Claus House. It has a population of under 2000, yet every year come Christmas its small post office receives over a hundred thousand letters from around 26 different countries – basically all those that like Santa and sell stamps.. And they reply. They can’t promise you will get the Barbie, x-box or One Direction member you requested, but they will stamp it with the official zip code of Santa Claus, 99705…
Or for those who figure that Santa is a man who needs no address you could always just put his name on it. After all this is the United States of Capitalism, you didn’t think the North Pole gets to bogart all the fun?
The story behind this equally tiny town is a little vague. Some say it chose Santa Fe as its name, but was refused on the grounds it was already taken; others say it was known simply as the nameless town as the residents couldn’t make up their minds. What does seem certain is that when they eventually did decide on their name they embraced it with a vengeance. Their post office receives its own thousands of hopeful letters and have dedicated elves, working since 1914, to ensure that each and every one receives a reply. But it goes oh so much further.. if there were any way in the world to live in Santa’s village this might be the closest you will ever get, all with that special Yankee twist.. Most residents live in what is known as Christmas Lake Village, the main street is known as Christmas Boulevard and very very best of all, it is surrounded by Christmas theme parks.. Santa’s Candy Castle, Frosty’s Fun Centre and the previously named Santa Claus Land, Holiday World and Splashin Safari. It’s now added a Thanksgiving section ..
If you live in Britain.. well, the address is rather specific and mysterious. According to the Royal Mail, you should put Father Christmas – though he will always answer to Santa – Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ. They also ask you include your name and address and get in quick before the 6th December. Where exactly the letters go they don’t say. It would seem his elves this side of the water are a little shy. There used to be a Santa Claus Land in Aviemore, but no trace remains. Uncovering the mystery of where those elves have relocated and where those letters go.. tell me that’s not a book. My childhood dream tale lies somewhere in these Santa lands..