Canada Post's Santa Mail Expecting 20 Millionth Letter Soon
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The world's most popular pen pal Santa Claus is getting snowed under with mail.
But jolly old St. Nick is thrilled with all the letters he's getting from children from all around the world.
Santa's helpers say thousands of letters are arriving at the North Pole's post office every day.
Children are encouraged to send their letters soon, so Santa has time to respond, and are reminded to include their return address.
Canada Post says Santa will soon receive his 20 millionth letter since the agency began counting his mail 30 years ago.
This year, Santa expects to get about 1.25 million letters and has about 9,000 postal elves helping him respond.
"Santa's post office is almost as busy as Santa's toy shop," says Sally, Santa's chief postal elf.
Among the letters Santa has received this year is one from six-year-old Sienna, who lives in Ottawa.
She would like a camera for Christmas to take pictures of her family, and also asked Santa to bring a gift for her sister.
Otherwise, she wrote, her sister "will take all of my stuff!"
Santa also got a chuckle from a letter written by Daniel in Nova Scotia.
"Last year I think you got stuck in our chimney a bit because there were dirty footprints on our carpet!" he wrote.
Send your own letter to Santa here: SANTA CLAUS
NORTH POLE H0H 0H0
Check out some interesting facts about the man we know as Mr. Claus:
Santa And Letters
Could you imagine writing a million letters in a year? No? Well the faithful elves at Canada Post can. Every year, they help <a href="http://www.canadapost.ca/dec/santa/writesanta/default-e.asp" target="_hplink">Santa respond to more than a million letters and emails in dozens of languages -- even braille</a>. Talk about impressive. Canada has even secured a postal code for Santa -- HOH OHO.
Santa At The Mall
Santa has been hanging out at malls and having kids sit on his lap since 1890. Santa's workshop or Santa's Grotto are common names for the little set ups in shopping centres around the world. It's not always easy for Santa at the mall -- he has to contend with <a href="http://www.aolnews.com/2010/12/21/its-hard-out-there-for-a-mall-santa/" target="_hplink">endless noise, overheating from wearing his suit, crying kids, and the occasional strawberry in the head</a>, according to one Santa, who revealed all last year to AOL News.
Santa Is Canadian
According to Canada the North Pole lands in Canada's jurisdiction in postal code HOH OHO and in 2008, Jason Kenney, Canada's minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, formally awarded Canadian citizenship status to Santa Claus. "The Government of Canada wishes Santa the very best in his Christmas Eve duties and wants to let him know that, as a Canadian citizen, he has the automatic right to re-enter Canada once his trip around the world is complete," Kenney said in an official statement.
Although he is iconic, Santa does vary a little from country to country. Take for example, the traditional Dutch Sinterklaas. Sinterklaas lives in Spain during the year, and he sails to The Netherlands on his boat at the end of December. He has a helper named Zwarte Piet, which translates to Black Peter. Piet was once an Ethiopian slave that Sinterklaas freed, so Piet decided to thank him by helping him deliver presents and toss candy during the holiday season. In North America if you're bad, you get a lump of coal. In The Netherlands, if you are bad, you get tossed in Piet's bag and taken back to Spain. Sinterklaas also leaves money and candy in the shoes of Dutch children.
Santa's a pretty hip guy for being as old as he is. He's up on the technology nowadays. Because as our world advances, so does Santa's! You can track Santa on Christmas Eve and see where he's dropping presents off with his sleigh and reindeer posse in tow on the internet. But NORAD has actually been tracking Santa since 1955 -- via the radio, television, and print updates. Everyone always wants to know where Santa is.