The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 22, 2010

Texts, Web really do allow Santa to be everywhere


One Twitter feed with 3,400 followers is put together by NORAD, the military organization responsible for the aerospace and maritime defense of the U.S. and Canada, years ago went online with its beloved Santa Tracker every Christmas Eve to let kids know when St. Nick is getting near them — and to teach a bit about geography and global culture.

Of course, not every effort to reach Santa is high-tech.

By Tuesday, Macy's had collected 987,000 letters in the mailboxes set up in its stores. The department store is donating $1 for each letter — up to $1 million — to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Macy's is collecting letters in paper form but offers an online template for those who have forgotten how a letter looks.

Fairbanks, Alaska, resident Laura Volmert says her daughters have different, but more traditional, approaches to communicating with the bearded one.

Seven-year-old Eleanor Adasiak trusts that with his magical powers, Santa will simply know what she wants.

Four-year-old Josie Adasiak did write a letter, but she doesn't know how to write anything beyond what Volmert calls "a collection of random letters on a page."

Her request was sealed in an envelope with care — but it didn't go into the mail. It was hidden away in the same undisclosed location where the tooth fairy deposits the Adasiak girls' baby teeth.

And while their volume of mail to Santa is down, two dozen post offices are still matching up letters from the needy with volunteers who want to help through the Operation Santa program.

"I don't think that people are going to stop writing Santa," said Mark Reynolds, a Postal Service spokesman in Chicago, "especially if they're in need of some holiday magic."

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