Letter to Santa

In the mid-1990’s I took a job with the post office in Alaska. One of my favorite volunteer duties was answering letters to Santa. I purchased stamps and postcards and wrote a little note to the recipient, then had them postmarked at North Pole. One season a letter arrived from New York, New York. The writer had beautiful penmanship, and even though her first language wasn’t English, she succinctly stated her reason for writing. Her two children needed clothing. She listed their sizes and also expressed the need for food in their home. I knew I couldn’t respond with well wishes to this mother, but how could I help from thousands of miles away?
That evening, I prayed for this family, and then turned on the computer. I scrolled through lists of churches before an idea hit me — if I found one in her zip code, I could call them and share the need. Because of the different time zones I waited until the next day at lunch to make the call. After three rings, a man answered the phone. “Hello, this is Pastor (name withheld).”
“Pastor, my name is Elisa, and this will be a strange call, so please bear with me.”
He cleared his throat. “Okay. What can I do for you?”
“I work for the post office in Alaska and yesterday a letter arrived from your zip code.” I read the letter to him. “So, you can see I couldn’t very well send a postcard with well wishes. Do you think this is something your church would like to take care of? I could fax you the letter.” He asked for the address and I read it to him.
“That’s two blocks away from our church! Yes, fax me the letter because we meet in less than an hour and I know my folks will be excited to take care of this. We can buy clothes and food and gifts and deliver it to her apartment. This is the perfect Christmas opportunity!”
My heart nearly floated when I imagined this family’s response when God showed up at their door after they’d sent a letter to Santa. I never called back to find out what happened. God had put that letter in my hands and I did my part, then passed it on to let others to take joy in being the hands and feet of Jesus.