While many children are writing to ask Santa for toys, others are asking for a cure for COVID-19.
It's a tradition that dates back more than a century.
Each year, the United States Postal Service hosts 'Operation Santa,' a program that matches children's Christmas wish lists for Santa with anonymous benefactors, eager to help make the holiday bright for the letter writers.
This year, there are thousands of the letters requesting dolls, toys, and gaming systems.
But many children are also writing to Santa, begging him to bring a cure for COVID-19 or an end to the ongoing pandemic.
Siblings Andy and Brix asked Santa to bring them a Nintendo Switch to share. "I know it is a lot of money so its ok if we don't get one," they wrote. "Thank you, Santa! I wish COVID was over so we can hug."
Jasmyne kept her Christmas list short. "This year, I would like: end of COVID-19, world peace, climate control, and a new X-Box."
USPS via Operation Santa
Barron began his letter, "Dear Santa: Please make the Corona virus go away."
Savannah asked for Lego sets, paint pens, and a doll. She added a heartbreaking postscript to her letter.
"(P.S.), Im sorry if ive been bad. It's really hard because of COVID-19, and online school (school in general.) Im trying to be good. Hope you understand."
USPS via Operation Santa
"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," explained USPS spokeswoman Kimberly Frum to CNN.
"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."
This is a holiday season unlike any we've ever known. In an effort to keep our country safe, many families are choosing to skip holiday gatherings. Pictures with Santa are now taken virtually or with a plexiglass barrier between St. Nick and children. And tens of thousands of families across the country will mark their first holiday without loved ones lost to COVID-19.
It's no wonder that reality is reflected in our kids' letters to Santa.
The Operation Santa program will continue to accept letters from children through December 15th. If you'd like to help fulfill a child's Christmas wish, head over to the website. Letter adoptions will run through December 19th.
DAY 6 16,193 letters adopted 660 packages shipped 26,675 accounts created 582,491 visitors to site #ElvesExist… https://t.co/MHZB2np8Xu— USPS Operation Santa (@USPS Operation Santa)1607608419.0
So far, nearly 18,000 letters have been adopted.
There's still time to bring a little Christmas magic.
Let's be honest-this year, we're all in need of a little Christmas cheer.
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