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Other interesting Santa letter processing information, according to the UPU's study and survey of national postal operations, are: [70].

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Canada Post has a special postal code for letters to Santa Claus, and since over 13, Canadian postal workers have volunteered to write responses. This postal code, in which zeroes are used for the letter "O", is consistent with the alternating letter-number format of all Canadian postal codes. Sometimes children's charities answer letters in poor communities, or from children's hospitals, and give them presents they would not otherwise receive.

From to , the program replied to approximately "one million letters or more a year, and in total answered more than In Britain it was traditional for some to burn the Christmas letters on the fire so that they would be magically transported by the wind to the North Pole. However this has been found to be less efficient than the use of the normal postal service, and this tradition is dying out in modern times, especially with few homes having open fires.

In Mexico and other Latin American countries, besides using the mail, sometimes children wrap their letters to a small helium balloon, releasing them into the air so Santa magically receives them. In , the Brazilian National Post Service, " Correios " formed partnerships with public schools and social institutions to encourage children to write letters and make use of postcodes and stamps.

In , the Brazilian National Post Service, " Correios " answered almost two million children's letters, and spread some seasonal cheer by donating , Christmas gifts to some of Brazil's neediest citizens.


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He receives over , letters every year from over different countries with Togo being the most recent country added to the list. The post office welcomes , visitors a year, with 70, visitors in December alone. Children can also receive a letter from Santa through a variety of private agencies and organizations, and on occasion public and private cooperative ventures.

An example of a public and private cooperative venture is the opportunity for expatriate and local children and parents to receive postmarked mail and greeting cards from Santa during December in the Finnish Embassy in Beijing, People's Republic of China, [85] Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi , Finland, and the People's Republic of China Postal System's Beijing International Post Office. The "Santa Letter" market generally relies on the internet as a medium for ordering such letters rather than retail stores.

A number of websites created by various organizations track Santa Claus each year. The Director of Operations, Colonel Harry Shoup, received the first call for Santa and responded by telling children that there were signs on the radar that Santa was indeed heading south from the North Pole. In the past, many local television stations in the United States and Canada likewise claimed they "tracked Santa Claus" in their own metropolitan areas through the stations' meteorologists.

Many other websites became available year-round, devoted to Santa Claus and purport to keep tabs on his activities in his workshop. Many of these websites also include email addresses which allow children to send email to Santa Claus. Some websites, such as Santa's page on Microsoft's Windows Live Spaces , however have used or still use " bots " to compose and send email replies, with occasional unfortunate results. In addition to providing holiday-themed entertainment, "Santa tracking" websites raise interest in space technology and exploration , [] serve to educate children in geography.

Santa Claus has partial Christian roots in Saint Nicholas , particularly in the high church denominations that practice the veneration of him, in addition to other saints. In light of this, the character has sometimes been the focus of controversy over the holiday and its meanings. Some Christians, particularly Calvinists and Puritans , disliked the idea of Santa Claus, as well as Christmas in general, believing that the lavish celebrations were not in accordance with their faith.


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Condemnation of Christmas was prevalent among the 17th-century English Puritans and Dutch Calvinists who banned the holiday as either pagan or Roman Catholic. The American colonies established by these groups reflected this view. Tolerance for Christmas increased after the Restoration but the Puritan opposition to the holiday persisted in New England for almost two centuries. Mary Baker Eddy , the founder of the Christian Science movement, wrote: "the children should not be taught that Santa Claus has aught to do with this [Christmas] pastime. A deceit or falsehood is never wise.

Too much cannot be done towards guarding and guiding well the germinating and inclining thought of childhood. To mould aright the first impressions of innocence, aids in perpetuating purity and in unfolding the immortal model, man in His image and likeness. Under the Marxist—Leninist doctrine of state atheism in the Soviet Union after its foundation in , Christmas celebrations—along with other religious holidays—were prohibited as a result of the Soviet antireligious campaign.

The government of the People's Republic of China officially espouses state atheism, [] and has conducted antireligious campaigns to this end. At that time, sleighs were how you got about Manhattan.


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Writing in Mothering , writer Carol Jean-Swanson makes similar points, noting that the original figure of St. Nicholas gave only to those who were needy and that today Santa Claus seems to be more about conspicuous consumption :. Our jolly old Saint Nicholas reflects our culture to a T, for he is fanciful, exuberant, bountiful, over-weight, and highly commercial. He also mirrors some of our highest ideals: childhood purity and innocence, selfless giving, unfaltering love, justice, and mercy.

Stories, pictures and reality : two children tell

What child has ever received a coal for Christmas? The problem is that, in the process, he has become burdened with some of society's greatest challenges: materialism, corporate greed, and domination by the media. Here, Santa carries more in his baggage than toys alone! In the Czech Republic, a group of advertising professionals started a website against Santa Claus, a relatively recent phenomenon in that country. I'm against Santa in my country only. In the United Kingdom, Father Christmas was historically depicted wearing a green cloak.

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A law in the U. The law came to attention when the beer brand Bud Light attempted to use its mascot Spuds MacKenzie in a Santa Claus outfit during a December ad campaign; Bud Light was forced to stop using the imagery. Psychologists generally differentiate between telling fictional stories that feature Santa Claus and actively deceiving a child into believing that Santa Claus is real. Imaginative play , in which children know that Santa Claus is only a character in a story but pretend that he is real, just like they pretend that superheroes or other fictional characters are real, is widely believed to be valuable.

However, actively deceiving a child into believing in Santa Claus's real-world existence, sometimes even to the extent of fabricating false evidence to convince them despite their growing natural doubts, does not result in imaginative play and can promote credulity in the face of strong evidence against Santa Claus's existence. Various psychologists and researchers have wrestled with the ways that young children are convinced of the existence of Santa Claus, and have wondered whether children's abilities to critically weigh real-world evidence may be undermined by their belief in this or other imaginary figures.

For example, University of Texas psychology professor Jacqueline Woolley helped conduct a study that found, to the contrary, that children seemed competent in their use of logic, evidence, and comparative reasoning even though they might conclude that Santa Claus or other fanciful creatures were real:. The adults they count on to provide reliable information about the world introduce them to Santa. Then his existence is affirmed by friends, books, TV and movies.

It is also validated by hard evidence: the half-eaten cookies and empty milk glasses by the tree on Christmas morning. In other words, children do a great job of scientifically evaluating Santa. And adults do a great job of duping them. Woolley posited that it is perhaps "kinship with the adult world" that causes children not to be angry that they were lied to for so long. Typical objections to presenting Santa Claus as a literally real person, rather than a story, include:.

With no greater good at the heart of this lie than having some fun, some have charged that the deception is more about the parents, their short-term happiness in seeing children excited about Santa Claus, and their nostalgic unwillingness to prolong the age of magical thinking , than it is about the children. Others, however, see little harm in the belief in Santa Claus. Psychologist Tamar Murachver said that because it is a cultural, not parental, lie, it does not usually undermine parental trust.

Spokesperson Vicki Hyde said, "It would be a hard-hearted parent indeed who frowned upon the innocent joys of our children's cultural heritage. We save our bah humbugs for the things that exploit the vulnerable.

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Most of them do not remain angry or embarrassed about the deception for very long. John Condry of Cornell University interviewed more than children for a study of the issue and found that not a single child was angry at his or her parents for telling them Santa Claus was real. According to Dr. Condry, "The most common response to finding out the truth was that they felt older and more mature.

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They now knew something that the younger kids did not". From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Folkloric figure, said to deliver gifts to children on Christmas Eve. For other uses, see Santa disambiguation.