Letters to Santa stop at the post office before the North Pole 

A boy by the name of Jurel wants nothing more than a set of Legos for Christmas.

The type of Legos or the amount does not matter to him, just that he gets them.

Rita LaFleur hopes to make the youngster’s wish come true after she chose it among hundreds at San Francisco’s main post office branch, in the U.S. Postal Service’s annual Letters to Santa program. Jurel’s letter is one of the thousands children send through the Postal Service each year in hopes of reaching Santa Claus with their wish lists.

LaFleur, 26, said she wanted to do something to “give back” to the community this Christmas season and felt buying a gift for a child who had written Santa Claus a letter was the way to go.

“I used to write letters to Santa when I was a kid,” she said. “I’m blessed; I felt like it was something I should do.”

Postal Service officials in San Francisco estimate hundreds of letters are delivered to their main branch and are available for the gift-giving public to answer. Last year, nearly 300 people sifted through the letters to choose one to their liking.

The last names and locations of the senders are blacked out for the kids’ protection, but when the gifts are brought back to the post office for shipping, they are sent to the proper addresses.

For Theaster Jones, 64, this is the first year she’s opted to sift through the letters and buy a gift for a needy child.

“I usually pull the name from the tree,” she said. “I like this better.” Jones spent 10 minutes Dec. 7 looking at the nearly 100 letters spread out on the table at The City’s main post office branch. She pored over the letters, commenting on the long list of electronics, dolls and a Batman costume the kids were asking for.

She settled on one little girl who requested a dress.

“Size 8,” she said adoringly. “Now I get to go shopping.”

Nicole Hoffschneider chose a mother’s letter for her three children asking for any toy the good Samaritan saw fit, and three other letters. She said it was the first time she and her three colleagues at Yokomizo Associates, an interior design firm, decided to go in together on letters and gifts for children.

“It’s good to be able to do this,” she said. “We wanted to volunteer, but thought these letters would be a better way to give back.”

Gifts that top kids’ holiday wish lists

Ask any 5-, 6- or even 20-year-old what they want for Christmas, and often they will list the latest gadgets and toys without much thought. Others, however, are more specific.

Kelly, for instance, knew that all she wanted this year was a soft purple blanket. And she told Santa Claus so. In a letter she wrote to Santa — among thousands received at the Evans Street Post Office this year — Kelly was specific, down to the size.

“Medium in size,” she wrote.

Kelly’s request is among the many the U.S. Postal Service sorts through as part of Operation Santa, which allows the public to read and respond to these letters with a gift or a written letter. The operation is now it its 98th year.

To get their ultimate gift, some children tried to persuade the man in red by saying how good they had been in the past year before listing the items they want.

Mya asked Santa for a real cell phone, laptop and puppy after stating her case.

“Dear Santa,” she wrote. “I’ve been trying to be good and get good grades. I think I succeeded.”

She underlined the “real” in each of the electronics and animals to give it emphasis, before updating Santa on her personal life in the last year.

“P.S. thanks for my two front teeth,” she wrote.

Others — such as Simon — had very special instructions for their present.

Simon wants a killer whale — with the fur.

“Santa,” he said. “Please make me a killer whale. See instructions. Don’t forget the fur. Thank you, Yours truly.”

Instructions included soft with fur, gigantic, black and white tail, fins and a blow hole.

Excerpts from local letters to Santa Claus

Santa —
Please make me a killer whale. See instructions. Don’t forget the fur. Thank you, Yours truly, Simon.

Instructions:
Soft with fur.
Gigantic.
Black and white tail.
Fins.
Blow hole.

**

Dear Santa,
Hi Santa my name is Nayeli I’m 3 years old and I am writing you this letter to tell you how really excited I am for Christmas. Me and my sisters Gabbi and Ari. I’ve been a really good girl and here’s a few toys I’d like: a bike, a baby doll that eats, my own pillow, a computer, warm sweaters and twinkle toe shoes. Merry Christmas Santa and thanks for reading my letter.
Love Nayeli

**

Dearest Santa Baby,
I’ve been a very good mommy all year long. For Christmas I would like a day at the spa (or some great eye cream). Thanks, Haley

**

I want the same Pokemon game as branden has and a DSI. And lots of presents I want a member ship club penguin for 5 years and a camera. To Santa Claus and I will be very nise.
Love Leo

**

Dear Santa,
For Christmas I want a want Barbie doll a baby poodle that doesn’t grow that comes with its cage food and some extra money and for my mom and dad love instead of yell at each other. Love Diana
P.S. Merry Christmas

**

Dear Santa Claus,
This Christmas I have a few requests. If you can I would like a bean bag, a sewing machine, jiveny justice boots, clothes, Aeropostale stuff. I would also like Odeez magic maker, show effects and costumes, green screen (please), footspa; canopy bed, cable, earrings, vans, yoga pants. I know you cannot get all of this but those are some examples. Santa will you also help me I want to make everyone in my family happy including me.
Thanks Santa.

P.S. Santa if you are real promise me (please).
P.S. I have a big wish will you please somehow let me meet Taylor Swift Pleasex100

Thanks
Thanks
Thanks
Thanksx200

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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