Christmas is a magical time for children when they get to write special requests to Father Christmas or baby Jesus. Over the past year the Swiss Post received more than 18,000 such letters and each one gets an individual answer.
Children’s Christmas letters to Santa have changed in recent decades. Although teddy bears are still a regular feature, letters now include requests for things like tablets and other hi-tech gadgets. But children don’t just want toys or other consumer products, they also long for a more peaceful and fair world, and a home environment where siblings or parents don’t argue or fight.
Since 1950, the Swiss Post has accepted children’s letters to Santa, which are full of thoughtful and amusing observations. Each one receives an individual answer – if the address can be deciphered. The thousands of letters come not only from Switzerland, but from neighbouring countries and even much further afield. For 60 years a dedicated five-person team based in canton Ticino has answered Christmas letters from children.
(Images from the book: "Briefe ans Christkindexternal link" (Letters to baby Jesus), Communication Museum; Text: Gaby Ochsenbein/swissinfo.ch)