By Tara Laskowski
Prompt, by Bryan Furuness: Submission guidelines for letters to Santa.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES FOR LETTERS TO SANTA
Santa's Workshop accepts letters for toy requests, fan mail, original artwork, and poetry. Fan letters, artwork and poetry are accepted year-round. The reading period for toy requests is October 1 to December 24 each year. Letters sent outside of this period will be discarded unread, as our toy shop production schedule shuts down during the months of January through September.
Who Should Submit:
Letter-writers should be ages 12 or under. While we truly appreciate the adult or teen who still believes, toymaking is a thankless job, and our Elves prefer to focus on folks who cannot yet hold down a job and earn money to spend on themselves (so, no, Carl from Trenton, New Jersey, we cannot deliver you a case of Pappy Van Winkle etched with the eight reindeer). However, fan letters from all ages are always welcome.
NOTE: Despite manufacturers claims, Santa's Workshop does not and will not ever have any relationship with Elves on the Shelf. We will not accept letters, requests, or messages from your personal Elf on the Shelf. Elves from any sort of shelf have been prohibited from entering our North Pole property, and any such elf caught trespassing on our grounds will be disposed of by the Abominable Snow Monster.
What to Submit:
Please submit one handwritten letter per season. No electronic submissions, please. Submissions can be in any language—we have Elves who speak fluently in every tongue, from German to Baby Coo.
Content should be heartfelt, genuine, and true. Please send us your best work. We are interested more in letters with one or two very special toy requests, rather than a laundry list of items. We are quite eager for more submissions with requests for toys for people other than the sender.
Please do not send catalogues, coupons, or printed MapQuest directions to stores. These will be ignored and not returned. We are a specialty toymaker, not your personal shopper!
Where to Submit:
Please read carefully! Guidelines have recently changed!
Stamps are not necessary.
Due to the popularity of Santa's Workshop, please direct letters to the proper department for fastest service and response:
- Address general correspondence to: Santa (or St. Nick), Editor-in-Chief, North Pole.
- Requests for electronics should be addressed to the Batteries Not Included Department, Elf 7, North Pole.
- Requests for games, books, or puzzles should be addressed to the Library, Elf 18, North Pole.
- Requests for dolls, stuffies, doll houses or accessories, building toys, or race/train tracks should be addressed to the Imagination Station, Elf 56, North Pole.
- Any other gifts or special requests should be addressed to the Experiences Department, Elf 789, North Pole.
Santa's Workshop is an equal-opportunity toymaker and will deliver to all children of the world, regardless of sex, location, income level, race, behavior, or the amount of curlicues, stamps, stickers, hearts, exclamation points, pictures of trees or snowflakes, or different colored crayons used in your submission. Contrary to popular belief, we do not count the number of times 'please' appears in a letter (though we encourage good manners!) and do not cater to begging.
Please note that while we are magic elves, we—and Santa—are really quite busy with our important jobs at the North Pole and do not, no matter what your parents or songs or television shows tell you, watch you while you are asleep. Therefore, there is no need to file a restraining order against us, and no need to log your dream-time as proof of anything—we trust that you are getting the proper amount of REM each night (and hope your parents are, too.)
- We cannot honor requests for autographed photos of Santa.
- The reindeer, as one group or as individuals, cannot do birthday party or Christmas party appearances, even when the event is mid-week and will be hosted in a building with a runway-like flattop roof (though we appreciate your consideration.)
- No, we cannot make a time machine out of a DeLorean.
- Thank you for your suggestions, but we do not agree that elves make delightful doorstops.
- Though Mrs. Claus blushes with modesty over repeated requests year after year, she simply cannot reveal the secret recipe of her gingerbread cookies.
- Santa has not, and will not ever, twerk.
Due to the high volume of submissions, we regret that our elves cannot send a personal response to your letter. But know that we carefully read and consider each and every submission to Santa and will try our best to fulfill your every wish and desire or provide a suitable substitution.
Thank you for your submission! We look forward to reading it.
Tara Laskowski is the author of Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons and the forthcoming short story collection Bystanders (Santa Fe Writers Project, May 2016). She has been the editor of SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a columnist and reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. All she wants for Christmas is a nap.