Santa's letter helper Colleen Eckhoff, of New Zealand Post,
sorts through piles of Dear Santa letters children from
across Otago and Southland have posted, in Dunedin
recently. Photo by Craig Baxter.
More than 150 eager children from Otago and Southland
send Santa a letter between Boxing and Labour Day but Santa
waits until November to reply.
However, the task of replying has become smaller for Santa
because fewer southern children had sent in letters this
year, Santa's little helper Colleen Eckhoff, of New Zealand
She forwarded 6200 letters from Otago and Southland on to
Santa, fewer than in the past three years she has worked for
The decline in letters could be because children were
contacting Santa electronically, she said.
Most children started letters traditionally, ''Dear Santa
Claws'', and ''Dear Santa clorse''.
But some got straight down to business.
''Please can I have'', or ''I would love:''.
Some shot the breeze with Santa before mentioning presents.
''Santa how are you? Because I'm feeling great'', and ''I
like you. you are the best santa ever''.
Others inquired on working relationships at the North Pole.
''Do you love or like Mrs Claus?'' and ''Do you like Rudolph
and the elves?''.
Some kept the sweet talk short and cut to the chase.
''Your a very nice man. Your nice to everybody you meet. Can
I have a xbox360?''The children's' wishes were mixed.
''Can I please have some Lego and a motorbike and the Annabel
Langbein book,'' asked an Oamaru boy.
A girl from Arrowtown hedged her wish list, ''$200 or $30'',
or ''gold nugget or just gold''.
A couple of children from Riverton kept their requests short
''I want muffins'', and ''I want a cow.''
Some left nothing to chance and provided Santa with images
''Here is a picture ov it'', and ''If you don't have any more
left, you get them from Toy World.''
A Dunedin girl understood she could be asking too much.
''I will love to have a real puppy for Christmas if you cant
make it, thats ok.''
Some wondered if their names were on Santa's naughty list.
''I am trying to be on the nice list.''
Others knew the list they were on.
''Can I please have nothing for Christmas because I have been
For some it was too close to call.
''Have I been good?'', and ''I am getting better.''
Some children were confident what list they should be on.
''I have been a really good girl this year I hope you see me
clean my room'', and ''I have been helping Dad by feeding the
dogs and helping Mum by drying the dishes.''
Most letters were signed off sweetly.
''Your friend'', ''Travel safe Santa'', and ''Bye and
A few had an afterthought in a P.S.
''Did you know the first picture of Santa was made up by
Cokeacola, so you might not even dress in red or be fat,''
wrote a boy from Winton.