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Deadline for wannabe Santas in Alabama


Alabamians have a deadline today if they want to play Kris Kringle. The United States Postal Service’s Operation Santa allows people to respond to a child’s letter to Saint Nick. The agency’s website connects postal customers to letters marked with a code number. That way neither side knows the identity of the other. Postal Service spokeswoman Debra Fetterly says items being sent have to be postmarked by today…

“We’ve been relying on customers for their kindness and generosity for the last one hundred and ten years,” said Fetterly. “It’s very popular. It helps this kids and their families to have a magical holiday. These folks probably would not otherwise.”

Fetterly observes that a lot of the most requests involve practical requests like food instead of toys. She says some kids are requesting more serious things lately like a cure for a sick parent…

“I think children are becoming more serious. They’re not children asking for toys, they see the big picture. Maybe they’re struggling at home for food…some do ask for food, others ask for a special dessert, so I think the economy has hit home even for children.”

Postal Service customers can browse through letters to Santa Claus on the agency’s website in order to pick a request to fulfil. Respondents can also enlist friends and co-workers to adopt a letter to Saint Nick.

Pat Duggins is news director for Alabama Public Radio.
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