How to write the perfect letter to Santa Claus
Children, gather round: here are some tips to help you pen your perfect polar post
Be specific. No one likes being asked for a surprise – come on now. Photograph: Getty Images
With the proliferation of text, email and messaging apps, letter-writing has become a lost art. Even the elderly, once lampooned by society as out-of-touch technophobes, can these days be found reviewing Bitcoin apps on YouTube or at the very least sending rude gifs to their bingo group.
Unfortunately, while the older generation have adjusted to the paperless world, many children may be less familiar with the epistolary arts, especially when called upon to write the most important document they shall ever write; their letters to Santa.
To aid them in their quest, we here present a brief and informative tour through five things to remember when you pen your perfect polar post.
1 Christmas time
Time is strange, and Santa’s powers of controlling it are hard to understand. Once he enters his sleigh, the 24-hour period we think of as Christmas Eve stretches into a three- to four-week span, giving Santa plenty of time to deliver his packages all over the globe. But that doesn’t mean you have all the time in the world. Santa still has to make meticulous preparations for his journey, so mail your note to him this week at the very latest.
2 What’s in a name?
When addressing Santa, he’s happy to go by Santy, Father Christmas, St Nicholas or any number of names. It’s rumoured he isn’t mad on “Big Nicky”, but even that should be fine if you dot the i with a smiley face.
3 The gab of gifts
Okay, this being Christmas, let’s talk turkey. It’s not vulgar to admit that writing Santa a letter is primarily about requesting gifts. While we shouldn’t be shy about that, we should think carefully about what to ask for.
To aid you in your choice, it’s best to follow my patented SNOW system, and focus on requests that are:
Specific. No one likes being asked for a surprise – come on now.
Negotiable. It’s not always possible for Santa to get you anything you want, especially if it’s something big or expensive or weird or dangerous. Great white sharks and football stadiums, for example, are neither safe nor practical for sleigh transport.
Outstanding. It should be something you really, really, really want. So, don’t ask for socks or tubes of Savlon unless you really, really want them.
Warranted. It should be something you think, in your heart of hearts, you deserve, based on how good or bad you’ve been all year.
This last point brings us to another important aspect of this craft; should you have been naughty all year, be prepared to receive a big lump of coal (or, in the case of particularly environmentally conscious naughty children, a tiny little solar panel). It should also be noted that any and all coal deliveries issued by Santa are final, and coals returned by bold little tykes will be recycled to make eyes and buttons for snowmen.
4 The write stuff
In 2003, seven-year-old Niamhie Ní Houlihan from Killarney wrote to Santa for a cat blanket to keep her tabby Jess warm over Christmas. Due to Niamhie’s poor penmanship, however, her request was misread and the young animal lover was accidentally delivered Hollywood star Cate Blanchett instead.
So if you do need help with your handwriting, please ask a grown-up.
5 Send send send
Finally, all of the above will be pointless unless you know which address to send your letter to. Many parents and teachers will take this responsibility themselves, but for the avoidance of all doubt, you can reach Santa via An Post by addressing your magical message to Santa Claus, the North Pole.
At time of writing, Santa does not use Eircodes, but should that change by next year, we’ll be sure to let you know.