Thousands of Letters to Santa May Go Unanswered

Just 1,200 letters of the more than 18,000 received have been answered, elves say

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    More than 18,000 letters to Santa Claus have been collected at Chicago's main post office, officials said Monday.

    But it appears most of them will go unanswered.

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    "Operation Santa" is now in its 100th year. LeeAnn Trotter reports. (Published Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012)

    Roughly 1,200 Chicagoans have stepped up to become one of Santa's Little Helpers and fulfill a child's Christmas wish, said Operation Santa spokeswoman Robin Anderson.

    "We have a lot more letters than we have people," said Anderson, who has been dubbed the "Chief Elf Officer" at Chicago's main post office.

    Those aspiring to help Santa can choose a letter from the facility, at 433 W. Harrison St., through Saturday.

    This year marks the 100th year of Operation Santa. The Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago, but its involvement was made official when in 1912 Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to letters.

    Representatives from the USPS and UPS say this week is the deadline to ship items and ensure a Christmas delivery.