Letters to Santa ask for warm coat, food, job for parents

Letters to Santa ask for warm coat, food, job for parents

Santa does not do e-mail. Nor does he respond to text messages. If you want to contact Santa, you have to write a letter, an ancient practice involving paper, pencil and a stamp.

Thousands of Bay Area children have done just that – but this holiday season, the tone of letters bound for the North Pole is a little more somber than usual. U.S. Postal Service officials in Oakland and San Francisco said they’ve seen a sharp increase this year in kids asking Santa not for Xboxes or PlayStations, but food, warm coats and jobs for their parents.

“It really tugs at your heartstrings,” said Augustine Ruiz, a Postal Service spokesman. “We try to answer every one, so they know someone cares.”

This year, post offices in the greater Bay Area have received more than 6,100 letters addressed to Santa, a high percentage of them asking for the bare essentials (plus maybe a Barbie Dreamhouse).

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