There are, however, some interesting patterns in the kinds of letters that come in. The e-mail form allows people to write to either Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus. While the submissions vary from year to year...
- Maybe nine out of ten letters to Santa are want-lists. Most of the rest are general greetings, kids who haven't been nice (but are really trying), or things like that. A rare few, like the one in the last post, are more interesting,
- Mrs Claus, on the other hand, receives e-mails on all sorts of topics. A major theme last year was girls asking for boyfriends or True Love for Christmas. (Mrs. Claus spent a lot of time pointing out that her husband basically runs a toy factory, and promising to forward those requests to Cupid the next time he's over for tea.) Probably one in four of Mrs. Claus' letters are odd in some fashion.
- The adults who are asking for help always ask Santa. That means that at least once a year, we get a really heart-wrenching e-mail from someone who has had a terrible year. Frequently they are somewhere completely else - Idaho, Washington state, Ontario - where we couldn't reach them even if we had the resources to do that sort of thing. Some of them are actively depressed, and we send those over to the local counseling service.
- Kids who are asking for help usually ask Mrs. Claus. (One boy wanted to move to the North Pole and become an elf. I don't think he was kidding; he sounded really unhappy with his home life.)
- Santa usually receives about five times as much e-mail as Mrs. Claus. I'm actually surprised it's not higher.
So, yeah. No real point to make here, just some observations. It's a strange job, but somebody's got to do it...