EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - On top of asking for toys, Santa Claus’ helpers say they are seeing an increase in special requests from East Texas children come in this year.
“We get the normal letters typically,” Houston County Courier Managing Editor Toni Browning said. “The ponies, the kitties, the electronics, and stuff. But this year it was a little bit different. We’ve had several say ‘I’m just done with COVID, please take it away.’”
Browning said they have seen an uptick in children asking Santa for things that may be a product of the pandemic.
“Family seems to be more important to them now,” Browning said. “Even the little ones. They were hoping they could get together as families and everybody be happy. I’m assuming you lose your jobs and lose money, homes get a little bit louder maybe, and they’re hoping for a little less noise.”
United States Postal Service Strategic Communications Specialist Albert Ruiz said with they continue their Operation Santa program nationwide to help get letters to the North Pole.
“This is from Jonah,” Ruiz read. “He says ‘Dear Santa, I don’t want anything for Christmas, but I would like to ask if you could do me a favor. Can you please find a cure for COVID-19 and give it to us to save the world? Thank you, Love Jonah.’ You get choked up just reading some of them. They see what’s going on.”
But they say kids are still kids; still asking for toys and saying the darndest things. One child submitted a letter for Santa to the Sabine County Reporter that reads as it was written:
“We’ve had several too from some of our sister newspapers saying the kids are asking if COVID had reached the North Pole and are the reindeer safe? They want to make sure he and Mrs. Claus are safe. They’re also talking about Elf on the Shelf. “Elf on the Shelf has come out of quarantine. I’m telling you first graders can spell quarantine. I mean why should they even have that word yet?
Browning says from the letters they’ve received, the kids are still bringing out the best during a challenging time.
“I’m not a child psychologist, but I feel these kids are handling it and dealing with it,” she said. “Although they’re missing certain things, they still have a great attitude. They’re still wishing peace on everybody and wanting to see people. They’re not being hateful or sad about it.”
The Postal Service’s Operation Santa encourages others to assist Jolly Old Saint Nick for Christmas by adopting those letters to help with gifts for kids and families. To learn more about Operation Santa, CLICK HERE.