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Photo by Garth Guibord
Santa's 'letter' helper posted on 12/01/2022

In a press release from 2019, the U.S. Postal Service noted that it expected to deliver a total of 800 million packages delivered between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day and more than 28 million packages per day and nearly 2.5 billion pieces of first-class mail processed and delivered during the week of Dec. 16 that year. And while that includes an influx of greeting cards, it perhaps misses the most important correspondence of the holiday season: letters to Santa.

 

For children on the Mountain who wish to send a letter to the Jolly Old Elf, Santa has a helper to make sure they reach him and also allows him the time and opportunity to respond. Jami Muise, who retired from the USPS last year and now works for the Welches Schools, took on the role last year and even created a kid-sized mailbox at the Brightwood Post Office just for those letters.

“I got quite a few last year,” Muise said, adding that the new mailbox will be out right after Thanksgiving in time for those children who can’t wait any longer to let Santa know about their holiday wishes.

Amongst those she delivered to Santa included some from kids who couldn’t write, but drew a picture, while others that had unique requests. One boy’s wish list included a chainsaw, fishing pole, boots and a donkey.

“That was so cute,” Muise said. “There’s so many sweet kids that don’t even ask for a bunch of gifts. A lot of them ask for something for their little sibling.”

She took on the role of Santa’s helper following the retirement of Larry Hoyt, who first took on the responsibility at the Sandy Post Office and then carried on as he went to the Eagle Creek Post office and finally the Brightwood branch. Hoyt noted that many kids wrote to Santa and noted how hopeful they were that they had behaved enough during the year. Santa, he added would write back about their good hearts, while sometimes noting how much snow fell at the North Pole or how his clothes were a little more snug this year than in years past.

“I would still be doing it if it weren’t for Jami, she’s so enthusiastic about it,” Hoyt said, adding that the toughest part of the job was when letters didn’t include a return address.

Muise, who also decorates the post office for the holidays, added that kids can drop off letters at the other post offices on the Mountain and she will make sure Santa gets those, too.

“I just love kids so so much,” Muise said. “I hope that we’ll get more letters (this year).”

By Garth Guibord/MT

 

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