Kids discuss COVID-19 pandemic in letters to Santa

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SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WEHT) – It’s a holiday tradition that’s been ongoing since 1914. Last year alone, 31,000 letters were sent to Santa Claus, Indiana.

“We laugh we cry, we share, and actually we get more out of it than we put into it,” Pat Koch said.

Since the 1940s, Koch has been helping respond to kids from all over the world who are hoping they’ve been well-behaved enough to make Santa’s good list and some already know where they stand.

“Dear Santa, I have been good sometimes, mostly once, never mind, I’ll buy my own stuff,” read one letter.

But this year, what she’s reading is not like any other year — and shows the obvious effect that COVID has had on children.

“The elves tell us many of the kids have COVID safety tips for Santa, think positive, test negative,” said Koch, chief elf at Holiday World & Splashin Safari.

“Are you going to be safe going from house to house. Will you be sure to wash your hands. Will you be sure to wear your mask. Please take care of the elves,” read another letter.

The elves say this has been the most heartbreaking year so far, with a lot of kids writing about their parents struggles with pandemic.

“And the other thing they are saying is mom and dad haven’t been able to work because of COVID and daddy says our Christmas will not be as big this year,” Koch said.

But despite trying to cope with the unknowns of 2020, the elves are bringing positivity and trying to add some magic to Christmas that may look much different. So a message from Santa trickles down to the elves.

“Keep being good, Santa knows it is hard but just keep trying to be good, we have one specific letter that has in it one sentence that says ‘Santa can’t bring you everything you want’ because sometimes get a big long list,” Koch said.

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(This story was originally published on December 11, 2020)

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