A Shelley, Idaho teenager who wants to make Christmas magical for kids recently received a big surprise from a Secret Santa.
Annalei saved her own money for over a year to buy a mailbox so the children could send their letters to Santa Claus. She finally found and bought the perfect one, East Idaho News reported Saturday.
She asked Santa if the mailbox could be labeled as a certified drop box so the elves could collect the notes each night.
Another magical part of his mission is that if those letters have a return address, Santa Claus will respond.
Writing a letter to Santa has long been a tradition around the world and in the United States: “Children start sending their letters to Santa in the weeks leading up to Christmas. History shows that the U.S. Post Office began receiving letters to Santa over 100 years ago,” according to Byer’s Choice.
Video footage from 2018 shows USPS “elves” sorting through these special letters:
Last year, a strong wind toppled Annalei’s mailbox, leaving it broken in several places. Although she and her father have tried to fix it, the box continues to leak and its lights no longer work.
A replacement is expensive, so when the outlet’s Nate Eaton knocked on his door with $500 for office supplies to answer letters from Santa, $500 for purchases at a craft store, and $1,000 for a replacement mailbox, she was shocked.
“Now it’s a thousand dollars for you to go buy a new mailbox,” Eaton told the young woman, whose face showed her surprise.
“Thank you,” she said, to which Eaton replied, “You’re welcome. Thank you for doing what you do. He also suggested that she might now be receiving an influx of letters.
Social media users expressed their delight at the surprise, with one person writing: “Such a sweet angel to think of these kids like this! She rocks!”
“An elf helping another elf,” replied another.