Dear Santa: Can we talk about the Postal Service?

Posted 12/17/20

Dear Santa,

How are you? I don’t know about the rate of COVID-19 infections in the North Pole, but they are steadily increasing here. You probably already knew that — you check your list …

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Dear Santa: Can we talk about the Postal Service?

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Posted

Dear Santa,

How are you? I don’t know about the rate of COVID-19 infections in the North Pole, but they are steadily increasing here. You probably already knew that — you check your list twice.

I’m curious if, during the pandemic, more of your business has shifted to virtual platforms. Has fiber optic internet cable made it out to Santa’s workshop?

Please don’t think I’m shouting or pouting. There are many advantages to technology.

But I’m grateful to write an old-fashioned letter to you. It reminds me of the simpler times when I was a kid. I also receive so many emails that a three-dimensional envelope in the mailbox seems like a godsend.

And the way things are going, it might soon be a miracle.

Santa, our postal system is in trouble. The other day, our church received a number of envelopes that had been postmarked Nov. 12. I don’t need to remind you how many days there are until Christmas!

Please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not suggesting that the men and women in the local and regional post offices — the mail processors, handlers and carriers — should be on your Naughty List. In fact, the mailwoman for my neighborhood delivers every piece of mail with a smile.

The problem is that certain government officials had a vested interest in slowing down the mail delivery system before our recent national election. Louis DeJoy, the new postmaster general, has cut the budget, laid off employees and put a blanket ban on overtime for Postal Service workers. This Grinch has even instructed mail carriers to leave packages behind if doing so can speed up their routes.

For goodness sake, Santa! Imagine instructing your elves to forget a few children’s gifts in the name of efficiency!

Not everyone uses a digital highway, much less a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer. We need our postal service, especially this year when many of us will not see our loved ones in person.

I want you to know that my 5-year-old son has put his letter to you in the mail. His big brother helped him write it. The younger one drew the pictures.

My younger son also mailed another card. I have an aunt who lives several hours away. During the coronavirus pandemic, the distance has seemed even farther because we cannot safely visit. She is a widow, and the holidays were hard enough. This year, she will be alone.

My son decorated her Christmas card all by himself. He drew a self-portrait with his arms spread wide in a hug. He also colored a picture of our house, running outside to double-check the number of windows for accuracy. He wanted his great aunt to remember exactly what our house looked like because someday she will visit again.

Finally, the pièce de resistance, he drew a bright green poop emoji — “Just to make her smile, Dad.”

Santa, I think those Scrooges in the federal government deserve lumps of coal in their stockings this year. But that’s your decision.

My Christmas wish is that my fellow citizens will support our postal workers. You of all people know that, while packages come in different shapes and sizes, the greatest gift is love.

Thanks for your timely deliveries, Santa. We’ll leave cookies for you by the tree — the real thing! No emojis.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew

Andrew Taylor-Troutman is the pastor of Chapel in the Pines Presbyterian Church and author of Gently Between the Words: Essays and Poems. He is currently working from home with his wife and three children.

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