• The Santa Claus secretariat has existed since 1962, but La Poste was already the recipient of letters sent by children to Santa Claus before that date.

  • The La Poste museum gave

    20 Minutes

    access to certain letters, the oldest of which dates back to 1925.

  • This year, children have until December 20 to send a letter to Santa Claus, mentioning their address to receive a response.

It's been 60 years this year since Santa's Secretariat opened its doors.

Based in Libourne in Gironde, he responds to all letters sent before December 20 (the mention Santa Claus is sufficient on the envelope) and which clearly indicate an address.

Since its creation, this secretariat has received 50 million letters, including some from abroad.

The desire to write, in real life, to Santa Claus is not new.

Before 1962, the year the secretariat was created, two postal workers, Odette Ménager and Magdeleine Homo, had taken to answering letters addressed to Santa Claus themselves.

On learning this, Jacques Marette, the Minister of Posts at the time, imagined with his sister, who is none other than the famous pediatrician and psychoanalyst Françoise Dolto, a device to leave no letter to Santa Claus unanswered.

"rag dolls"

Among the oldest letters preciously preserved by the La Poste museum, there is one dated 1925 signed by three sisters, Janine, Huguette and Nelly, which begins with “dear Christmas”.

They ask for "rag dolls" and "eyelash sleepers", specifying their heights and abilities.

It's probably the oldest who uses her inkwell for all the siblings, and she doesn't forget to ask for a “sewing kit” for their mum and a “silver penknife” for their dad.

In 1962, the year the secretariat opened, the letter was addressed to "little Santa Claus", the two children in the family wanted a bicycle and the parents took the opportunity to let go, it would be a plane for Dad and a house. for mom, visibly more down to earth.

The letters come from all over the world.

In 1980, a little Mavina, three and a half years old, asked from Gabon, addressing her missive to "dear Santa Claus": "a pedal car, a piggy bank, a walkman and chocolates".

In 1989, Virginie's letter is much longer, she asks for "roller skates, a Barbie with lots of clothes, a real telephone, lots of sweets and a little sister..." The same year, Xavier is less greedy, he asks for "a cross bike with solid wheels and a tent", assuring that he will clean his shoes on Christmas Day.

From Newfoundland, Hanna, 6 and a half, weighs up the "green points" obtained at school to unroll a nice list dated 1995 based on "Polly Pocket merry-go-round that lights up", "the family Pocahontas” but also Barbie, with her dog, her cat, clothes, etc.

Over the years, the lists tend to get longer and mention more and more brands.

With the 2000s, electronic games, digital games and video games take the lion's share among the requests.

This year, 60 "goblins" are mobilized in Libourne to respond to e-mails and papers sent by children.

Over a million children write to Santa every year.

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