Post Office offers personalized letters from Santa

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina kids sending a letter to Santa with the correct return address will get a personalized response from the North Pole.

According to the South Carolina Media Contact for the U.S. Postal Service, for the 12th year, children living in the Greater South Carolina District, ZIP Codes 290-6, who send a letter to Santa Claus with a return address will receive a personalized response direct from the North Pole mailroom.

The "North Pole Mailroom Receipt," printed on an 8-1/2X5-1/2-in. card, comes from two elves - Jeremy Jingles and Crystal Bell - who work in Santa's mailroom.

Their message assures the writer that while Santa is far too busy this time of year to answer letters, their letter has been received and their name and all their requests have been carefully added to Santa's list of good girls and boys.  The elves close with a reminder that Santa rewards good behavior, so "minding your manners and doing homework and chores are a must."

"We receive approximately 1,200-1,400 letters a year from children in our delivery area," said District Communications Coordinator Harry Spratlin, "and thanks to many volunteers at our 277 Post Offices, we are able to address and mail the cards before Christmas.  Our cutoff date will be the 21st this year, since we need time to address the cards and deliver them."

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.