“Two pars of Plymoobil”, “one Monster Hi” and a ”cuddle” toy please!
It’s that time of year again and Santa Claus has his work cut out. Before the holidays he answers thousands of children's letters. Swiss Post will support him wholeheartedly again this year and delight young letter writers with a small surprise.
The sender of a colourful, handwritten letter to Santa Claus justifies his wish for a games console: “I know that it’s not good for my eyes but I would like my own… And I wouldn’t play on it for longer than two hours in a row”. One girl has written a whole list: “Monster Hi”, “a googly-eyed animal”, a unicorn, a big “cuddle” toy, Hello Kitty, 20 felt-tips, “two pars of Plymoobil” and a Barbie have been strung together on the list. Year after year, children write thousands of letters to Santa Claus. So that the letters arrive, Santa Claus asks Swiss Post for help.
A festive taskforce
In order to process the 20,000 or so letters that Santa Claus receives annually, a special team is put to work at Swiss Post. In Chiasso (Ticino) up to six Swiss Post employees assist Santa Claus and answer wishes such as “I’d like a Kromforländer puppy, it’s a doggie…” For every letter, the young letter writers receive a surprise: a story –- which was recorded again this year (www.soundcloud.com/swisspost) – and a gift. The gifts are made in a workshop with a lot of love and dedication by people with disabilities.
3rd floor, yellow doormat
Teresa Lovatti has been at the service of Santa Claus for around eight years now. The Swiss Post employee works through the Christmas wishes and replies to all of the children. Her favourite memory? There are so many, she says fondly. Her eyes light up when she recounts them. She is always touched by details such as children describing the floor they live on or the door to their house (“We live on the third floor with the yellow doormat”) so that Santa Claus doesn’t get lost. But there are also sad experiences: Teresa Lovatti remembers a letter sent by a six-year-old whose mother had recently died after an illness. She asked Santa Claus to give her mother a hug in heaven. That she should come back – for her little brother and father. “Very moving”, remembers the 54-year-old Ticino native.
For “Santa Claws”
The cooperation between Swiss Post and Santa Claus has a long tradition. For more than 60 years now, Swiss Post has been taking care of letters which are addressed to “Santa Claws” or similar. “Last year we answered 96 percent of all letters”, says Teresa Lovatti. According to Lovatti, Santa also enjoys receiving drawings. “The most important thing is that the letter includes a reply address”, she adds with a smile. This is because last year, the senders of remaining four percent of the letters could not be found.
Vincenza Barbaro has also written a letter to Santa with her two children this year. The little girl, Lyudmila, would like ice skates, a guitar as well as “Anna and Elsa” dolls. Her brother Francesco would like a toy raceway and the “blue” train. All three are already really looking forward to getting a reply from Santa.
Source: Museum of Communication, Berne as well as “Letters to Santa Claus”, APPLAUS Verlag