It is a name that needs no address. Everyone knows Santa Claus lives at the North Pole.
So letters sent to the roly-poly icon always find their way to the small town of North Pole deep in Alaska's interior, including those simply addressed to Santa. Last year, 120,000 letters arrived from 26 countries.
The letters start pouring in around Thanksgiving. Even stamp-less letters get through, a rare exception for the US Postal Service. "It's what makes Christmas magic for children," Cornelius said. "Why not make that available for them?"
Gabby Gaborik is among several dozen volunteers who believe in the Santa cause, opening crates full of letters.
"We try to keep Santa mystical, so we sign off as his helpers," Gaborik said. Letters arriving by mid-December have a better chance of a reply before Christmas. Late letters, however, will still get a letter "signed by Santa."