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Not-so-jolly economy changes tone of Santa letters

Posted December 17, 2008

— It is the season that inspires letters to Santa Claus about toys, dolls and video games. This year, however, Saint Nicholas is reading letters that are a sign of tough economic times.

Five million pieces of mail pass thorough the U.S. Postal Service Distribution Center in Raleigh every day. This time of the year, the North Pole sub-station is a hot destination, with 4,000 letters so far being sent to Santa.

Santa's helpers are helping him read the letters and say this year, it is not just about fun items. Some letters ask Santa for a jacket, shoes and a job for mom.

“Instead of the toys, we have more of the ones that will touch your heart a little bit,” said Sherry McGowan, with the U.S. Postal Service.

One letter addressed to Santa reads, “We have seen our mother crying because she cannot give us anything. It hurts us we have to see her like this."

“I’m writing this letter to you for a miracle,” another Santa letter says.

For many children, 2008 has been a tough year.

“I think with the economy the way it is, it has brought our children into the adult world and our finances,” Santa helper Donna Crawford said.

The postal service says it is not too late to send a letter to Santa, but you have to hurry.

Send letters to:

North Pole Sub-Station

P.O. Box 9995

Raleigh, N.C. 27676-9995

Also, remember to include your mailing address so Santa can write back.


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  • giterdungirl Dec 18, 2008

    I hope the coats I donated to 'Coats for the Children'
    (wonder if these will go to adults too?) will go to folks like this...How can we help?

    God Bless

  • rosted Dec 18, 2008

    I would also like to help the kids in the letters. Maybe a jacket or shoes, Christmas or not, they need jackets and shoes.

  • IBleedRedandWhite Dec 18, 2008

    The past few years my father has dressed up like Santa on Christmas morning and delivered toys to children down the road that are not as fortunate as my family is. Even though they know it is not the "real" Santa, the look in their eyes and the smiles on their faces would touch even the coldest of hearts. one year, Christmas was on a Saturday and my parents had bought the little girl a nice dress. That Sunday morning they were at church and she was wearing that dress and she was so proud of it. Giving is truly ten times better than receiving. Even in tough times we should all still try to help out how we can for those that are less fortunate.

    And even if these children don't get their mom a new job from Santa, something from the jolly man is better than feeling as if he has "skipped" over their house completely.

  • food4thought Dec 18, 2008

    RIGHT ON! Some people are raising their children these days to EXPECT things. We need to raise our children to EARN things.

    That being said, it is sad that threre are children do not get anything. I used to be one of those children and because of my experiences, I truly appreciate the value of a dollar and am much better off because of it. So while it may be a hard lesson for them now, it will help them later in life... and maybe we can get some people in this world who want to work hard to earn things again.

  • amyrn Dec 18, 2008

    So, you have children with so much faith and they write these letters to Santa Claus (because they have been told he is real) and then they get no answer, no shoes and no job for mom...wonder how they feel about Santa after that? There was a recent debate on GOLO about whether you should tell your child there IS REALLY a Santa Claus. To me, this is a good reason not to.

  • mom2threecld Dec 18, 2008

    it's sad for alot of children in alot of way. we(at work) adopted a family of 4 disabled children and plan on giving them christmas and 2 families that are in need of food we are supplying food. we did this at thanksgiving and gave 6 families a huge amt of food including a ham and a turkey with staple foods to last a while like dried beans, soup, etc. we all have to pull together and help one another. one person can't do it alone, but in a group it is pretty easy. this is just a thought for those that want to help, something like this may work for you. we have a small office of approx 30 and we pulled it off pretty good.

  • vernswifey79 Dec 17, 2008

    It is pitiful that the children are affected. If I had the money these children would be blessed but right now all I have is words of wisdom. Put your faith in the Lords hands and you will be blessed.

  • colliedave Dec 17, 2008

    I think with the economy the way it is, it has brought our children into the adult world and our finances,” Santa helper Donna Crawford said.

    At times children need to grow up and learn money does not grow on trees. Not having money to buy a child's wishes does NOT mean he is not loved.

    A child needs to know that he is loved even though his parents do not have the resources to grant him his wishes. Too bad not enough dems have not learned this truth,

  • BreakYourself Dec 17, 2008

    I am so sad to hear that the current situation of the world has hit and affected even the children. I am not rich but I would like to know how to perhaps buy a few things for some of those poor children who are witnessing their mother(s)go through this rough time. As a single mother at one time I know how the feeling all to well. Yes I have already purchased several angel tree items. I would be willing to give up what I have set aside for myself. Who needs a new G3 phone.