Vidalia Post Office offers to deliver area children’s letters to Santa Claus

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 30, 2000

VIDALIA, La. – Parents, tell your children to send their letters to Santa at the North Pole via the Vidalia Post Office. There, red ribbons and green garlands adorn Santa’s mailbox. This is the third season the postal workers have helped Santa by putting the box out.

&uot;My granddaughter sent a letter to Santa last year,&uot; said Postmaster Gene Cobb. &uot;She received Santa’s reply on official Santa stationery.&uot;

The reply was postmarked from the North Pole, Cobb said.

Email newsletter signup

Children last year reported filling their letters with their Christmas wish lists and stories of their good behavior throughout the year.

The origin of letter-writing to Santa is unknown, but it has become a full-blown American tradition.

According to June Hatch in her &uot;Book of Days,&uot; the legend of Santa Claus stems from the patron saint of children St. Nicholas.

The New York Dutch settlers brought over the legend of St. Nicholas, or as they called him, Sinterklaas. His Dutch name was later Americanized to Santa Claus.

The Dutch St. Nicholas was a &uot;tall saintly bishop,&uot; writes Hatch. It wasn’t until Clement Clarke Moore of New York wrote a Christmas poem for his children in 1882 that Americans envisioned Santa Claus as a &uot;jovial gentleman.&uot;

Although the poem is titled &uot;A Visit From St. Nick,&uot; most Americans know it by its opening line: &uot;’Twas the night before Christmas.&uot;

The Vidalia Post Office invites all area children to continue the tradition this year by dropping their letters into Santa’s box

Cobb said postage is free for delivery to the North Pole.