The letters to Santa reveal how heavy the epidemic is on the children

Anthony told Santa he wanted a magic button he could press to wipe him away from the tired reality of the pandemic.

Jasmyne’s Christmas list is short and to the point. “This year, I want the end of the Covid-19, world peace, air conditioning, the new Xbox,” he reads.
In their letters to Santa in the U.S., children continue to ask for toys, clothes, Legos, and video games. But a year full of illness and uncertainty, a review of letters addressed to the North Pole and collected through the post’s Santa Claus operation program reveals that the epidemic is placing a heavy burden on children.
Some ask Santa to disappear the coronavirus. Others ask for masks for Christmas. Still others write about the challenges of going to school online, or why their parents can’t afford to buy gifts this year because they lost their jobs.

“Dear Santa,” Jonah wrote. “I don’t want anything at Christmas, but I’d like to ask if you can do me a favor: Could you find a cure for Covid-19 and give it to us to save the world. Thank you.”

The postal service will help you fulfill your Christmas wishes

The postal service began receiving letters to Santa more than a century ago. Operation Santa Claus dates back to 1912, when Frank Hitchcock, the then postmaster, allowed postal workers to open and reply to letters addressed to the North Pole.

The post offices worked with volunteers who agreed to “accept” letters from children in need and send them items to their wish lists.

In 2017, the effort went online in some big cities. This year, the USPS for the first time published all the letters on Operation Santa’s page to Samaritans in all parts of the country who want to help children and their families.
The postal service encourages volunteer donors to go online, choose a child letter for “adoption” and fill out the registration form. The donor buys the gifts and brings them to their local post office, where a postal worker matches the number on the letter with the child’s address and sends them. For privacy reasons, donors cannot access recipients’ addresses.

Children are open to a figure like Santa because they are seen as a helpful, trustworthy person who spreads joy, says child psychologist Avital Cohen, founder of Peachtree Child Psychology in Atlanta.

“What I’ve read from these letters is that kids are really thinking about the needs of their parents or the world and not just dealing with their own desires this year (although of course some kids are asking for the gift they want, expected this year! ), ”Cohen said in an email to CNN.

“Mr. Rogers is known for finding helpers in scary situations – this is our chance to be helpers and our children to be helpers as well.”

Since October, children and adults in the U.S. have sent more than 10,000 banknotes and cards to Santa this year – many reflect the hardships of the year, USPS spokesman Kimberly Frum said.

“Individuals and families will be affected by the number of challenges in many ways in 2020. Covid-19 has resulted in job losses, temporary unemployment and, unfortunately, the loss of family and friends,” Frum said in an email to CNN.

“The program has always been about giving holiday gifts to families who don’t have the opportunity to meet basic everyday needs. This year, there are likely to be more families who are financially and emotionally affected.”

Most of the letters to Santa have already been accepted by donors, Frum said. Postal workers will continue to upload new mail until December 15th.

Many children’s letters reflect the reality of life in 2020

In a festive season other than the masked Santas behind the plexiglass railings, the annual tradition of letters written on the North Pole is a bit normal for kids.

But in many letters, the feelings are not quite as usual.

A 13-year-old Texas girl named Kimberly isn’t like many kids when she asks for AirPods from Santa. But he also asked for gifts for his three brothers and his money-poor parents: a training machine for his mother and a waterproof coat for his father.

“This year is hard for all of us because of covid-19. My stepfather is the only (one) worker and he has had to stop working full time because of covid-19. Now he works less because of covid and everything else. money to pay bills, “he wrote. “My parents think I’m writing this to my brother, but I want to surprise them with everything they’ve done this year.”

Nine-year-old Alani asked for Lego and a gift card for her mother. He drew a smiling girl with curly hair with Santa Claus – a hilarious scene that belied the complainant’s tone of his letter.

“Dear Santa, this year has been rough … because of the crona … my mother said she can’t get me anything at Christmas because she doesn’t get paid enough to refuse anything,” she wrote.

Savannah, a Massachusetts girl, asked for confession and apology.

“PS, I’m sorry I was wrong,” he wrote. “It’s very hard because of Covid-19 and the online school … I’m trying to be good. I hope you understand.”

Nhea, a Florida girl, sounded a little more hopeful in her letter asking Santa if the pandemic had reached the North Pole.

“Do you have covid where you are? If not, I just want to say you’re lucky,” he wrote. “Dad says that even though he lost his job, we’ll still find a way to celebrate.”

Then there’s Andy, a 5-year-old from California, who asked for a Nintendo Switch from Santa for him and his brother. He concluded his letter by saying that he wanted to return to normal life after the pandemic – and it was for pretty much the whole world.

“I wish the covenant was over so we could hug him,” he wrote.