Joyful rings, Santa list, holiday treats

Santa letters HQ ‘staffed’ by biz, Town, FHS

Because his North Pole elves are working fast and furiously toward the Christmas Eve deadline, Santa has personally selected a very special group of surrogates to help him answer children’s letters this holiday season.

Volunteers from CH Interiors & Gifts, along with Town of Farragut staff and several Farragut High School students, have been responding to letters dropped off at the new Santa’s Mailbox in Founder’s Park at Campbell Station.

The mailbox was unveiled during the Nov. 27 Lighting of the Park ceremony, and organizers determined early on they could respond to Santa’s personal request for assistance.

“[CH Interiors] was the guiding force [for the project],” said Sue Stuhl, Parks & Leisure Services director who is overseeing the Town’s participation.

Jesse Boling, owner of the business, said the Town offered to help — and the project was a go.

He said the collaboration has been a good one, and has ensured letters are being answered as quickly as possible.

A representative from the Town’s Public Works Department collects the letters daily, decked out in an Elf hat and carrying one of Santa’s official Christmas sacks.

The letters are delivered to Town Hall, and volunteers go to work, responding to each one that has included a return address.

“Santa can’t answer letters that don’t have a return address,” said Stuhl, who estimated the Town received 75 to 80 letters the first week, while Boling estimated his store had received around 100 during that same time frame.

That number is increasing quickly, with upward of 25 to 50 letters being collected daily.

For all letters to be received in a timely manner and allow Santa to respond, they need to be placed in the official mailbox “as soon as possible,” organizers said.

For more photos from this event, please see Westside Faces in our print edition or our online photo gallery

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