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Swiss Post helps Santa Claus

Every year, thousands of children put their Christmas wishes into a letter or drawing which they send to Santa Claus, hoping that these wishes will be granted. This year too, Father Christmas can count on the assistance of Swiss Post in responding to all these letters. Until the end of the year, the experienced Swiss Post team will bend over backwards to send a small gift to all the children who write in. It is accompanied by a letter that unfolds a WWF Christmas tale about a family of panda bears. Last year, Santa Claus received almost 17’000 letters from children throughout Switzerland and abroad.

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The holiday season is approaching, and children are already getting into the Christmas spirit. Swiss Post too is doing its bit to ensure that the children’s holiday wishes are granted, thus adding to the magic of the festive season. This year again, Swiss Post will send all letters addressed to Santa Claus and his helpers to a special team of five postal carriers in Santa’s branch office in Chiasso. In this way, the letters from children with sometimes inspired addresses such as «Gesù Bambino, Via delle stelle, Paradiso», «Liebes Christkind im Himmel» or «Père Noël, pôle Nord» can be forwarded to the Swiss branch of the main Santa Claus post office located in the Finnish town of Rovaniemi. For over 50 years, the letters – which strictly speaking are «undeliverable» in postal terms – have no longer been stamped «addressee unknown» but sent to the Santa Claus team. There they are sorted by language and – if the quality of the sender’s address permits – a small gift is sent in return.

The Swiss Post Christmas team replies to almost all the letters

Last year, Santa Claus’s helpers received 16’869 letters or drawings from children asking for a gift or simply sending their wishes to Father Christmas. Most letters came from French-speaking Switzerland, followed by Ticino, German-speaking and Romansh-speaking Switzerland. Over 200 letters arrived from abroad, indicating that many children believe that Santa Claus lives in this Alpine country full of snow and fir trees.

Santa Claus’s postal carriers do all they can to reply to each letter they receive. But this is not always possible: sometimes there is no sender’s address, or the sender cannot be identified. In 2010, they did manage to reply to 16’241 children, which is 96% of the letters received. The remaining letters had so little information about the sender that the Christmas team was unfortunately obliged to throw in the towel.

But the team in Chiasso doesn’t give up easily. They are very pleased to receive all these letters, often accompanied by drawings, collages or small objects such as dummies, little cars or sweets. The replies to these moving letters are signed by Santa Claus who writes in one of the national languages or in English. A small gift and a short WWF Christmas tale about a panda bear mother and her panda cub are enclosed. The envelope is franked with a special Christmas stamp. The postmark is from the post office in Berne Bethlehem, as every year.

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