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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Letters to Santa Claus prove a big hit

21.12.2011 - Leading up to Christmas, postal staff throughout the world are answering letters from children eagerly awaiting a response from Santa Claus.
 Santa's little helpers at work (La Poste France)
In Lapland, Finland, Santa’s official post office, can be found eight kilometres north of Rovaniemi, a town with a population of 35,000 on the edge of the Arctic circle. Annually, Santa’s little helpers here respond to 700,000 letters from 198 countries.
La Poste (France) has set up the Santa Claus secretariat in Libourne. Each year, Father Christmas visits this centre to meet thousands of schoolchildren.
Visitors can also watch 25 of Santa’s elves in action as they send out some 1.6 million cards to young letter-writers. Responses are also sent to some 160,000 e-mails.
Thirty years ago, Canada Post created a special Santa address with its very own postcode: Santa Claus, North Pole H0H 0H0, Canada.
Three decades later, Santa still receives a million letters at this address, whose postcode “H0H 0H0” is reminiscent of “Ho,ho,ho”, his characteristic laugh.
In Germany, Santa’s main post office is in the city of Himmelpfort, which literally means “gateway to heaven”. Father Christmas receives roughly 300,000 letters in 17 languages at this address every year.
The majority of these letters are sent to the North Pole, Greenland, Finland or Lapland.
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