Dear Santa…

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 17, 2009

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, brightly colored envelopes with handwritten messages make their way into the area’s local postal offices.

Some have messages like “I’ve been good. I want a doll,” or “Please make Mommy well this Christmas,” but what people may not realize is that each letter addressed to Santa that arrives at local post offices gets a reply back.

“Some of the messages are just so sweet and funny; some will just break your heart, but most are telling Santa they’ve been good and what they want for Christmas,” said Denise Williamson, acting supervisor at the Andalusia Post Office.

Williamson, who still has a collection of local letters from years past, said post office employees take the time to reply to each letter.

“We usually get about five to seven letters each day up until Christmas,” she said. “We send a generic form letter back to the return address so that the kids will know ‘Santa’ saw their letter.”

Williamson said in her six years at the post office, she has seen the number of handwritten letters to Santa decline.

“I’m sure there are a number of reasons why,” she said. “The majority of them are sent directly to Montgomery, but we try very hard to intercept the local letters so the children get a speedy response.”