Children are asking Santa Claus for a cure for COVID-19 and revealing their families can’t afford to celebrate Christmas with presents this year in heartbreaking letters that reflect the toll the pandemic is taking on kids around the country.
The Postal Service’s Operation Santa takes letters mailed to Santa and shares them online, allowing individuals and organizations to ‘adopt’ them and fulfill Christmas wishes — which could be for anything from toys to basic necessities.
This holiday season marks the first time the USPS has posted all the letters addressed to the North Pole on its Operation Santa site, and while kids are still asking for toys, many of their messages show the impact of the year’s hardships.
Toll of 2020: Children are opening up about their hardships and asking for a cure for COVID-19 in heartbreaking letters to Santa Claus
Request: Alani, nine, asked ‘some Lego sets,’ revealing her mom can’t afford to get her anything for Christmas this year
Good heart: A child named Jonah only asked Santa to ‘find a cure for COVID-19’ and ‘save the world’
In the letters, many children asked Santa to make coronavirus go away, with some sharing how their families have been emotionally and financially impacted by the pandemic.
Dear Santa,’ a child named Jonah wrote. ‘I don’t want anything for Christmas, but I would like to ask you if you can do me a favor: Can you please find a cure for Covid-19 and give it to us to save the world. Thank you.’
Alani, nine, shared that it has been a ‘rough’ year because of coronavirus and asked Santa for ‘some Lego sets.’
‘My mom said she can’t get me anything for me for Christmas because she is not getting paid as much so she can’t afford anything,’ she noted.
‘I would appreciate if my mom could get something too because she takes care of us and gives me food and works very hard so I just wanted something for her like a gift card.’
Meanwhile, Barron explained that he had his mother write his letter and send it to the North Pole for him because he is only four years old.
Concise: Jasmyne wanted just four things: the end of COVID-19, world peace, climate control, and a new Xbox
Christmas wish: Four-year-old Barron asked for coronavirus ‘to go away’
Reaching out: Kimberly, 13, penned a lengthy letter to Santa asking for AirPods as well as gifts for her three siblings and parents, who have been struggling to make ends meet
‘Please make coronavirus go away,’ he asked. ‘I’ve been a good boy this year.’
Another little boy named Andy, five, requested a Nintendo Switch to share with his brother, but he also made it clear he wants the pandemic to be over.
‘I know it is a lot of money so it’s OK if we don’t get one,’ he wrote. ‘Thank you, Santa. I wish COVID was over so we can hug.’
A child named Jasmyne asked Santa just four things: the end of COVID-19, world peace, climate control, and a new Xbox.
Some children requested new face masks after needing them but months, but a little boy named Nathan wanted the opposite, writing: ‘For Christmas I would like to not were [sic] a mask.’
Kimberly, 13, penned a lengthy letter to Santa asking for AirPods as well as gifts for her three siblings and parents, who have been struggling to make ends meet.
Candid: Another girl named Savannah apologized to Santa for her behavior, admitting she has been having a difficult time with remote learning
Heartbreaking: A four-year-old named Adien had a special request for his mom after sharing he lost his daddy and grandpa this year
Aww: Andy, five, wished that the pandemic was over so he could hug Santa
‘This year has tough to all of us due to COVID-19. My stepdad is the only (one) working and because of COVID-19 he had to stop working full time,’ she explained. ‘Now he is working less because of COVID, and all the money he gets is for paying the rent and the bills.
‘My parents think I am writing this for my siblings and I, but I want to surprise them for everything that they have done this year.’
Another girl named Savannah apologized to Santa for her behavior, admitting she has been having a difficult time with remote learning.
‘I’m sorry if I’ve been bad. It’s really hard because of COVID-19 and online school (school in general),’ she said. ‘I’m trying to be good. Hope you understand.’
A four-year-old named Adien had a special request for his mom, explaining that ‘this year has been very tough’ for his family.
‘I lost my daddy and my grandpa, and my mommy is having a rough time,’ he said. ‘Maybe you can send her some happiness.’
Kimberly Frum, a spokeswoman for the USPS, said children and adults in the U.S. have sent more than 10,000 letters to Santa since October.
New reality: Some kids like Jonathan asked for new face masks after wearing them for months on end
Hard to handle: A boy named Nathan told Santa he doesn’t want to have to wear a mask on Christmas
‘2020 has seen its share of challenges affecting individuals and families in so many ways. Covid-19 resulted in job losses, temporary unemployment and sadly, the loss of family and friends,’ Frum told CNN via email.
‘The program has always been about providing holiday gifts for families who may not have the means to provide for anything more than basic everyday needs. This year, there are likely more families impacted financially and emotionally.’
Operation Santa started in 1912 USPS when Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postal workers to open up letters to Santa and respond to them.
The program evolved to allow volunteers and charitable organizations to ‘adopt’ a letter to fulfill requests and went digital nationally last year.
Those who’d like to become recipients of the program still have time. All they have to do is write a letter to Santa Claus at 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888, and make sure the envelope includes a full address and a first-class stamp.
The letters will be accepted up until December 15, and adoptions will continue through December 19.
Last year alone, more than 11,000 packages were sent to people who wrote to Santa and had their letters adopted.