Listen to Homer: Send Santa that letter

Published 11:00 pm Friday, December 7, 2012

“Dear Santa, I want an elf. Not a pretend elf. A real one, from the North Pole. If you’re real, you’ll bring me one.”

That request, penned years ago by a certain teenager I know, was sent to Santa via snail mail, all the way to the North Pole.

It wasn’t the first time the young boy had written to Santa. He’d been sending letters every year, as tradition held.

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At first, he dictated the letters to me. When he was in kindergarten at Troy Elementary School, he dictated his letter to his teacher, who dutifully sent all the children’s requests onto Santa.

The next year he was cagey, vowing not to send a letter to Santa because “he knows what I want. I don’t need to tell him.”

And, of course, not long after came the request for Homer, the Elf.

Why Homer? Why an Elf? Well, he answered, Homer would be his very own elf and would make whatever toys he wanted all year long. It was the only thing he wanted. And besides, if he asked Santa in a letter, he had to reply. So we wrote another letter and mailed it off.

Then we waited, just like millions of other youngsters do every year as Christmas draws near, to see if his very own elf would appear.

Here at The Messenger, we’ve been helping get those messages to Santa for more than a decade. Each year, hundreds of youngsters throughout Pike County carefully pen their letters to Santa, making their case as good girls and boys and asking for those oh-so-coveted Christmas gifts.

And every year, we gather those letters and send them on to the North Pole and Santa Claus – making sure he gets them in time for a Christmas Eve delivery.

The kind and generous kindergarten teacher who helped my son draft his letter 10 years ago is still one of dozens throughout the county who will help her students write those letters to Santa Claus this year. Many, many more will pen their letters at home – mailing them to us at P.O. Box 727, Troy, Al., 36081 or emailing to by Dec. 17.

We’ll gather them all together and put them in a special edition, which will forward onto the Jolly Ol’ Elf himself. We’ll also publish a copy of that section on Dec. 22, so the youngsters can see their letters one more time before Christmas morning (and so can Santa).

And if you ever doubted that Santa keeps an eye out for the letters we send him, well then you should meet Homer. He’s the four-foot tall-elf, straight from the North Pole, who found himself at our house one Christmas morning, complete with pointy shoes and bells on his cap. He was no shelf-sitting elf, this Homer. It seems Santa had read a certain young boy’s letter and, well, Homer just couldn’t wait to make the trip south to Troy, Alabama, to answer it himself, much to the delight of a certain young boy that year.

Stacy G. Graning is publisher of The Messenger. Contact her at And parents, encourage your children to send their Letters to Santa to us at