Monday deadline for letters to Santa

Helper elves with Canada Post say that if you want a response from Santa Claus, Dec. 17 is the last day to get your child's wish list off to the North Pole.
With all the pre-Christmas planning and appearances Santa has to do, luckily a 9,000-strong team of Canada Post elves help to answer all the mail he receives each year. (Canadian Press)

With all the work Santa Claus has to do before his trip around the world on Christmas Eve, Monday is the last day for children to get their wish lists to him if they want a response.

Due to the staggering volume of mail he receives each year — 1.3 million letters in all — Canada Post’s 9,000-strong volunteer team of letter-writing elves help Santa respond to each and every one.

From that mountain of mail, said Ottawa-based elf scribe Tim Mageran, are some memorable missives.

"One letter that I received last year … I kept on my wall because I found it so hilarious," said Mageran. "It was from a little girl named Sydney, and all her friends were trying to convince her that Santa didn’t exist. She knew better and she was telling them, ‘That’s fine if you don’t believe in Santa. You’re all going to get underwear.’"

For 30 years, elves like Mageran help write personalized responses to wish lists that can arrive in one of more than 30 languages.

Chief postal elf Cindy D’Aoust said she enjoys reading the wish lists on behalf of Santa, though it’s often surprising what some children want for Christmas.

"Everything from toilet habits of their parents that they’d like to see changed to concerns if they’ve moved or if they’re not going to be home for Christmas," said D’Aoust. "The things they tell us … it just makes me laugh."

To reach Santa, just put ‘North Pole’ on the envelope and remember that Santa’s postal code is HOH OHO. Don’t forget to put a return address on your letter and drop it at your nearest post office.