Messenger god along the road

From the “Places the Mail Took Me” series by Annette Marie Smith

Letters hold small spirits of their senders
bright in the form of thoughts, ideas, emotions.
Guiding these spirits from one person’s world to another’s
are letter-carrier-psychopomps
who steer Charon paper boats
fragile on the river Distance
and the thrashing Angeliafóros sea. — Annette Marie Smith

Dear Santa

dirty mailbox clean hope
Photo from the “Places the Mail Took Me” series by Annette Marie Hyder

The Post Office receives, easily, millions of letters to Santa every year and has been receiving letters to Santa for more than a hundred years. New York City alone receives 500,000 letters to Santa each year. What happens to all those letters, all those missives of hope?

In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters.

“Today, the popular holiday program is known nationwide as Letters to Santa. The exception is New York City, where the city’s own Operation Santa, the largest in the country, responds to more than 500,000 letters each year. Thousands of volunteers work with Post Offices to respond to letters from children of all ages listing their holiday wishes.

Once again this year, employees, members of the public, charitable organizations and corporations can help USPS respond to the letters at Post Offices around the country by participating in the Letters to Santa program.” Source:

If you are interested in adopting a letter, check out this link to find out how: USPS Santa Letters

Personal information pertaining to the letter writer will be obscured — no last names, addresses or contact information of any kind will be visible. Only the first name and the wishes will remain — wishes for you to make come true!