DOBSON — A bright red mailbox in the lobby of the Dobson post office is reserved for the most special of missives: letters to Santa Claus.
“We do that every year,” said Michael Rosenhauer, postmaster. “The kids love it.”
Rosenhauer said that while afternoons after school hours are the busiest, “They use that box all day long,” rolling in to mail off their hopes, dreams and Christmas wishes to the man in charge at the North Pole.
The post master said about 150 letters to Santa come through his office each season.
The best part? Santa answers each and every one, with a personal response and a North Pole postmark.
It’s a busy time of year for everybody, no doubt for Santa Claus too, who has lots of elven helpers in the U.S. Postal Service and community volunteers to help manage the letters.
Letters to the North Pole from the local post offices are handled by a team of Santa’s elves coordinated in Greensboro.
But each one finds its way to Santa, and the responses are signed and sealed by him.
Rosenhauer said many of the children who use the mailbox return year after year in anticipation of their personalized response, which never promises any toys but lets the kids know their letters have been received.
Santa also fills the kids in on how things are going at the North Pole, how he’s eating well to fatten up and working hard to prepare for Christmas Eve.
While Santa is busy prepping things at the North Pole, the postal workers are busy here in Dobson.
“It’s real crazy,” Rosenhauer said. “We get so much mail in here.”
But spirits remain high.
“They were singing songs this morning,” Rosenhauer said and laughed, playing a video he had made of two men singing the Elvis Presley song “Blue Christmas,” one imitating Elvis’s vocals and the other imitating the background “oohs.”
The local postmaster said his kids have made good use of the mailbox over the years.
It’s been a few years since Elyssa Jones, 15 and Charity Rosenhauer 12, have sent a letter, but Gage and Linkon Rosenhauer, ages 7 and 8, are eagerly awaiting their responses this year.
The children of a postmaster certainly have the routine down pat.
“They say, ‘My daddy has direct access to Santa Claus’,” Rosenhauer said, and they’re right.