Do children still believe in Father Christmas in 2017? You bet your eggnog they do! SA Post Office spokeswoman Martie Gilchrist, says the Santa mail they’ve received is proof the Christmas spirit in these modern, cynical times is still alive and well.
The post office might not get as many letters addressed to the big guy as it once did – possibly losing out to the North Pole WhatsApp group or Santa’s personal Twitter account – but those it does get are still full of childhood dreams and wishes.
“We used to receive about 2 000 letters each year, but we have noticed a steady decline in the number of letters. This year, we received close to 500 letters addressed to Father Christmas,” says Ms Gilchrist.
She assures children that as soon as the post offices receives their letters, they are whisked off to the North Pole to ensure that Father Christmas gets their requests well before Christmas, to avoid any disappointments on the day, of course …
Not all the letters the post office gets are sealed, and the postal elves often take a sneak peek at some of the requests.
“The girls ask for toys such as a skipping ropes, Barbie dolls, footprint statues, prams or shopping trolleys and clothes like bathing costumes, horse-riding gear and bathing caps. One little girl asked Father Christmas to bring her a black puppy.”
The boys ask for paintball guns, fishing gear and blue robot dogs.
“One boy asked Father Christmas for a baby brother while another one asked for a cat.”
Most of the time, the children address the letters to Santa, Father Christmas and Santa Claus and they ask for them to be sent to the “North Pole”.
However, one letter was addressed to: “1 Santa Claus lane, North Pole”.
Ms Gilchrist, who has worked for the post office for many years and has been based in the Western Cape for seven years, says they received a letter addressed to “Santa Claws” from a girl called Sheri. It says: “Dear Santa I would like a Springbok T-shirt this Christmas because I saw it at the shops once and I love cheering on the Springbok rugby players. They are the best and I believe in them.”