Swiss Post gives Santa Claus a helping hand
"Dear Santa Claus..." – each year this is how thousands of letters begin from children who have a special wish for Christmas and hope it comes true. Once again this year Santa can rely on strong support from Swiss Post. Up until the end of December, an experienced Swiss Post team will do all they can to reply to every child with a present and a story. Last year, Santa Claus received around 18,000 letters from children from all over Switzerland and abroad.
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The festive season is approaching and children are already full of anticipation. This year, Swiss Post is again helping to ensure that their Christmas wishes sent by mail receive a reply. It forwards all letters addressed to Santa Claus to the five Swiss Post employees at the Christmas branch in Chiasso. This means that even those children’s letters with the most imaginative addresses – "Père Noël, aux Rochers du Naye", "Christkind und Nikolaus, Himmelspforte 24, 2412 Im Wald" or "Gesù Bambino, Via delle stelle, Paradiso" – get to the Swiss branch of the main Santa Claus post office in Finland’s Rovaniemi. For more than 60 years, such letters, which are considered to be "undeliverable" in postal terms, have been forwarded to Santa’s team after being sorted by language, rather than being returned stating "recipient unknown". Every sender receives a reply and a small present – as long as they have provided their address.
Swiss Post’s Christmas team replies to nearly all letters
Last year, Santa’s helpers received 18,386 children’s letters and drawings with wishes for presents or greetings to Santa Claus. Most of them came from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, followed by letters from Ticino and German-speaking Switzerland.
Swiss Post’s Christmas team goes to any lengths to reply to every letter. But unfortunately, this is not always possible: Sometimes the sender’s address is missing and the other details in the letter are insufficient to establish who the sender is. However, the team still managed to reply to 17,423 children in 2013. This corresponds to about 95% of all letters received. For the other letters, Santa’s team unfortunately had to give up the search for the sender.
The team in Chiasso works tirelessly and with commitment. Reading the letters is a particular source of joy, and they often come with drawings, handicrafts or toys. The answers to the children’s letters are written in one of three national languages or in English and their envelopes are decorated with a special Christmas stamp. Once again this year the postmark comes from the Berne-Bethlehem post office.