A little town nestled in rural Indiana is named after the man in the big red suit, and that’s not by accident. Santa Claus, Indiana, is home to the only Santa Claus post office in America. He gets thousands of letters every year from kids all over the world.
“Santa needs a lot of help because Santa is busy making toys, busy getting ready for the big trip, getting the sleigh ready. The elves are working very hard, so we have to ask for help for Santa to answer all these letters," Mrs. Koch said. “I grew up with Santa Claus in my home.”
Her father found his calling early, as one of Santa's helpers
“And by the way, the beginning of my father being Santa Claus happened when he was 19 years old on the USS New York on Brooklyn navy yard as a young sailor," Mrs. Koch said. “And he said, and these are his words, 'Dear God, if I live through this war, this is what I will do. I will make children happy by being Santa Claus,' and he was.”
For 54 years, he carried out that work in Santa Claus, Indiana.
“I found those letters that my father had answered in the 30s and of course children were asking for underwear, socks and mittens. Now Xbox and computers and sometimes I don’t even know what they are talking about," Mrs. Koch said.
Mrs. Koch is an expert when it comes to the letters written in English, but when she gets letters in other languages, that’s when more of Santa’s helpers step in. Anja is from Switzerland. She read a letter from a girl in Germany who is worried about the pandemic.
"She says, 'I hope all the people will learn to live with COVID next year,'" Anja said.
It’s some of the same things kids in America are writing about.
“One child said, please wear gloves when you get my letter out of the envelope," Mrs. Koch said.
This is an opportunity for these foreign-exchange helpers to see just how similar kids are all over the world.
“It’s so cool to see that it’s all over the world and that we have something in common," Anja said.
“Santa is real. Santa is just so special and so magical and so much beyond what our world is," Mrs. Koch said. “Santa Claus is what’s wonderful. A caring, loving, giving, selfless human being that makes people happy, that sacrifices on that sleigh by going all over the world to make everybody happy, not picking and choosing everybody.”
The letters are far beyond a piece of paper. They are magic, spirit, and a reminder that every child, no matter where they are, is being heard and is loved by Santa.
“Ya know, I always say we should keep the spirit all year. What a wonderful world it would be," Mrs. Koch said.
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