Episode 5

Letters to Santa

December 1, 2016

The history of writing letters to Santa has some strange surprises in store for us. At first, parents would write to their children in the voice of Santa. And when children started writing back, they’d address the letters to simply, “The North Pole.” And that created a problem for the Postal Service.

Letters to Santa piling up in NYC post offices was front page news in 1912

A customs agent named John Gluck helped the Postal Service match letters to charities. But he had bigger plans too…like building an expensive headquarters building in Manhattan.

John Gluck’s brochure for his Santa building in Manhattan

I also mentioned Operation Santa in this episode, and we heard from Ken, host of the Today’s Tea with Kenny P podcast.

Music in this episode

  • Cherry Blossom” — Kevin McCleod, via Incompetech
  • Tech Toys” — Lee Rosevere, via Free Music Archive
  • Blue” — Podington Bear, via Free Music Archive
  • Heavenly Bodies” — Matt Oakley, via Free Music Archive