The History of Letters to Santa
One of the earliest recorded letters to Santa was sent by a little girl in 1896 asking for “a box of paints”. Other letters, featured in the local papers, included a request from a seven-year-old boy: “We should like to have something to play with, as we have nothing,” he’d written. In fact, the boy’s father had died from smallpox and, living in poverty with his two younger siblings, the letter prompted help – even a requested Christmas stocking was supplied.
By the early 1900s the London GPO were receiving thousands of letters addressed to Father Christmas which were dealt with by the ‘returned letter office’ in Mount Pleasant. By the 1920s, the GPO was unsure of how to deal with the increasing deluge of Christmas mail from children but it was decades later before the solution finally arrived.
In 1962, the French government had announced that it was putting into law that every letter addressed to ‘La Père Noël’ had to receive a postcard in reply. At that year’s Christmas press conference, the Postmaster General was asked if this process was something that could be adopted in Britain. Caught off guard, the reply hinted that, yes, the PO would look into the matter.
And so, the first reply card was sent out in December 1963 and included a hand-written note from Father Christmas – “Be good; be fast asleep” – and came in an envelope sporting a unique ‘Reindeerland’ postmark.
Where to Send Letters to Santa
Any children who want to get a reply from Santa need to send their letters to:
They must stamp the letter and tell Santa their full name and address. And because Santa gets so busy at Christmas it’s best to post the letter early in December and before the deadline of December 8th. You can find more information here about sending letters to Reindeerland.
Just in case Santa isn’t able to deal with all of the children’s requests, you can find a range of wonderful gift ideas for children at Beehive Toy Factory.