The tradition of writing a letter to Santa has been in practice for generations around the globe. Every year, children all over the world write letters to Santa. Some leave letters in their shoes, others leave notes pinned to the Christmas stockings that adorn the mantel above the fireplace. Some children write letters to jolly old Saint Nicholas, addressed to Santa's Workshop in care of the North Pole. (The use of the post office to contact St. Nick began as a particularly American phenomenon.) Scottish children would shout their wishes up the chimney, while Europeans simply left out stockings or shoes for the gift bringer.

GERMANY — Children leave letters on their windowsills for Christkind, a winged figure dressed in white robes and a golden crown, who distributes gifts. Sometimes the letters are decorated with glue and sprinkled with sugar to make them sparkle.

BRITAIN — Children write their letters to Father Christmas and then throw them into the fireplace so they will float up the chimney and fly to the North Pole. If the lists catch fire first, they have to rewrite them.

UNITED STATES — Children begin mailing their letters to Santa during the weeks leading up to Christmas. History shows that the US Post Office began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago.

RUSSIA — Instead of the North Pole, the Russian Santa Claus officially makes his home at an estate in the Russian town of Veliky Ustyug. Children can write their letters to Ded Moroz and send them to Veliky Ustyug in hopes of having their holiday wishes granted.

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