Santa’s Mail

Each year thousands of children write letters and cards to Santa who supposedly lives at various fictitious addresses such as Reindeer Land, Snow Land, Santa’s Grotto, North Pole, etc.

In 1963 for the first time the Post Office acknowledged the “existence” of Father Christmas. From this date every child writing to Santa had the chance of receiving a full colour Christmas card and message, thanks to the kindness of the British Post Office.

It is Santa’s policy to try and ensure that every child receives a reply in time for Christmas Day. If this is not possible different design cards are sent out in January.

However, Santa has a wonderful knack of spotting mail from adults. You can be assured that a letter addressed to Father Christmas, care of the Philatelic Bureau will remain unanswered.

Within five years over 50,000 cards were being sent out annually and this had increased to 100,000 by 1971, doubling to over 200,000 by 1982. In 1988, the last year that the total was supplied, 400,000 lucky children received a reply from Santa.

There are also variations in Welsh, cards for letters received too late for a reply and special bulk issue cards to schools. Despite the huge volumes issued these cards are extremely hard to find. I have to assume that the majority are thrown away or recycled each January.

I started writing to Santa a few years back, but as mentioned, he is very good at spotting adult philatelic collectors and for the first two years I received no reply. My sister eventually faked a letter good enough to pass for a child’s and a card duly arrived in 2019. As a sign of the modern age this depicted a sELFie taken by Santa’s little helpers.

Father Christmas does of course now have a proper address, so for anyone who fancies trying to obtain a card, please address your letter to Santa, Santa’s 3 Grotto, Reindeer Land, XM4 5HQ.

Permission for this article to be printed here has been granted by
the Kettering Philatelic Society.

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