Santa is hoping more children will write him letters this year, so he can have the pleasure of writing them back.
“Given how this year has been for everybody, I’m hoping to get more children involved in the Write A Letter to Santa program,” said Christina Frost, the Northumberland County communications officer who started the program.
Frost explained that after she started working for Northumberland Sheriff’s Department, she thought it would be nice to see the office doing something for the community at Christmas time, so three years ago she decided to test letters from Santa to see how well it worked.
The first year, although promotion was primarily limited to Facebook, she got a lot of response, and it has gotten better with time.
Children write letters to Santa including their wish lists. And Santa replies with a personalized letter that speaks to what each child has written.
Santa talks about the specific items they’ve wished for and any problems they’ve mentioned. “For example, sometimes I get letters where kids talk about they haven’t done so great in school. And I’ll offer them encouragement and try to let them know it’ll get better,” said Frost.
The letters also tell the kids what wonderful children they are and promotes being good helpers for family and friends.
Every letter is hand-signed by Santa Claus, and there are different envelopes for boys and girls. If there are multiple children in the family, each child gets his or her own letter so they all have something to open up that makes them feel special.
Frost said she often spends up eight hours a day writing and packaging letters. The program is completely free. She funds most of the costs out of her own pocket, and the sheriff provides the stamps.
This year, New England Tire in Rhode Island donated a new wooden mailbox, and that was phenomenal,” said Frost, who constructed the old one from boxes and wrapping paper.
Anyone interested in participating can deposit their letters in Santa’s mailbox, which is located in the lobby of Northumberland’s Sheriff’s Office, and children outside of the county or can’t make it in, can mail their letters to the Sheriff’s Office. Little ones too young to write are encouraged to have a family member pen their messages for Santa.
Frost encourages everyone to try to get the letters in by December 18. But if they come in a little late, Santa will keep replying.