Downtown Washington square is home to mailbox for Santa letters

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Dec 2, 2011 in Rat News | Subscribe

If your child has dashed off a letter to Santa Claus or is thinking about writing one, there’s a place the letter can be mailed.

It’s Santa Mailbox on Washington’s downtown square. Linda Calvert will make sure Santa responds to letters that include a return address.

“I volunteered to answer letters the first year we put out the mailbox, and I enjoy it so much that I don’t want to give it up,” she said Thursday.

Calvert is one of three co-owners of Peddler’s Way Quilt Co. Her store is a member of the Washington Specialty Shops group that is doing the Santa’s Mailbox project for the third year.

The group, made up of merchants who have businesses on or near the square, also sponsors the annual Candlelight Stroll on the square, held Thursday night.

In addition to free horse-drawn carriage rides along streets lit with luminaries, a Christmas sing-along, the lighting of Washington’s community Christmas tree and visits with Santa, the Candlelight Stroll brings attention to Santa’s Mailbox.

Calvert said she answered about 50 letters from children in each of the first two years the mailbox was up. She answers letters on a computer with a template response that can be personalized.

“That way the child knows Santa read his or her letter,” said the mother of five grown children.

Calvert has had some memorable letters from children. One asked for pet rats and a rat cage, and another pleaded with Santa to “take my brother.”

“The tough letters are the ones that beg for a pet because their parents won’t let them have one,” Calvert said. “I tell these kids I’ll, umm, Santa, will do his best. I never make promises.”

If a parent or grandparent wants a child’s letter to Santa returned, Calvert said, include a stamped, self-addressed envelope, and she’ll mail it.

Letters must be dropped in Santa’s Mailbox by Dec. 15 to receive a response. The mailbox is in front of Denhart Baking Company Restaurant.


Steve Stein can be reached at 686-3114 or Read his Stein Time blog at Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.

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