Home » People & Society » The USPS used to burn letters sent to “Santa”. Now nonprofit organizations respond to children’s letters on behalf of Santa

The USPS used to burn letters sent to “Santa”. Now nonprofit organizations respond to children’s letters on behalf of Santa

What Happens to All Those Letters Sent to Santa?

Writing a letter to Santa Claus has been a tradition in America, well, since, at least it was possible to mail a letter, and likely long before.

Prior to the establishment of the United States Post Office in 1775, American children would burn their missives to Santa, believing that the ashes would rise up and reach him, says Nancy Pope, curator of postal history at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

Today, despite the advent of more modern communications like email and texting, hundreds of thousands of children, from all over the globe, continue to send their Christmas wish lists to Santa using old-fashioned snail mail. And incredibly, many of those letters are actually answered.

To deal with the annual… Continue Reading (6 minute read)

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