Dear Santa letters cut to the chase

Santa's letter helper Colleen Eckhoff, of New Zealand Post, sorts through piles of Dear Santa...
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 Post, said.

She forwarded 6200 letters from Otago and Southland on to Santa, fewer than in the past three years she has worked for Mr Claus.

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 and sweet.

''I want muffins'', and ''I want a cow.''

Some left nothing to chance and provided Santa with images and instructions.

''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 very naughty.''

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 please''.

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.


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