I was walking past the central post office in São Paulo with my wife yesterday when we noticed a lot of people sitting around at tables reading letters. Wondering what was going on, we went in and asked.
It turned out that every time a child in Brazil writes a letter to Santa Claus or Father Christmas and puts it in a post box, it ends up at the central post office. The staff there assign a code number to each letter and make sure the address is not visible, then they allow the general public to read the letters.
If you find a letter you like, you can fill in a form that says you will buy the gift the child requested in their letter to Santa. All you need to do is go out and buy the gift then drop it off at any post office with the code number of the child’s letter. The post office will then make sure the gift is delivered.
So a child can write to Santa and the post office will deliver exactly what the child asked for! The post office staff told us that over half of all requests are answered – which I expect means that almost all ‘reasonable’ requests from children are actually answered.
We went through the letters and picked out five we said we would support… of course the kids asking for a new Playstation go to the bottom of the pile. We found kids asking for a toy train and one even asked for some clothes because she had not had any new clothes since the previous Christmas. It’s quite easy to spot the kids who actually deserve to be answered and those who are just asking for yet another video game.
What a great idea and how thrilling for a kid who drops a letter in the post box to ‘Santa’ to find that the postie comes a few weeks later with exactly what they wanted – and a Happy Christmas note directly from Santa!