“I do not want anything this year but I want to say thank you for last years gift. I appreciate the Xbox 360, it must take a long time to make a Xbox360,” wrote a boy named Joel in a letter sent to Hoboken’s River Street Post Office for Santa this year.
The Main Post Office is continuing the 100-plus year tradition of placing a box out front for letters to Kris Kringle himself. By the end of last week, the box had collected more than 100 letters, most adorned in stickers and candy canes. One letter was very specifically addressed it to Santa Claus, North Pole, Arctic Region.
Many children asked how the “elfes” or “elvs” are.
A boy named Hudson wrote, “Dear Santa, what do you during the day? Do you like riding on your sleigh?”
Max wrote, “It is snowing and it’s only November 27, doesn’t that strike you?”
Gabriella touchingly said in her letter, “Dear Santa, I wish that all the boys and girls that do not have any toys, get a toy for Christmas.”
Sydney said, “I would like a new set of scissors because my yellow ones broke.
And brothers Lucas and Cameron said, “Dear Santa, We do not need very much this year. We would like sports teams shirts, a train and a few things we can share.”
Another girl was specific. “This year I want a butterfly that flies, that is alive,” she wrote.
A long tradition
The Hoboken Post Office has participated in the USPS tradition for at least 40 years. Supervisor Tom Corrado, who has been there since1975, says it has been there the entire time he has.
Throughout that time, it has also become tradition for postal workers to take pictures of their own children dropping letters in the box and send them for inclusion in the Reporter. One supervisor held up his toddler in front of Santa’s mailbox over a decade ago, and she is 14 now. This year, Brad Johnson, who has been at the Post Office for 15 years, got to take the passed torch and hold his newborn son at the drop box.
“Some of the kids are funny,” said Johnson. “They actually put a stamp on it.”
The most popular item requested from the fat guy was LaLaLoopsy dolls and books.
“Fortunately in Hoboken, the kids are pretty lucky,” Johnson said. “One year, in 2004, that wasn’t the case. There was a needy kid who wanted a Spiderman toy, so we got it for him.”
In previous years, workers at the River Street Post Office have taken donation money and purchased small toys for the children. Employees of the office said that parents have approached them to say thank you through the years for the toys they found in their mailboxes.
This year, the post office has not received any donations and doubts they can buy the toys. Though some Hoboken residents call up and ask for lists of where they can send toys, the post office cannot release addresses for safety reasons.
If anyone is interested in donating toys, there is a toy drive box outside of the office at 89 River St. Donations other than toys can be sent to the post office or dropped off inside.
Amanda Palasciano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.