For the past twenty-six years Canada Post as run a 'Write To Santa' programme, where children across the world are invited to write to Santa Claus at the North Pole, Canada, using the postal code H0H0H0. Each child is guaranteed a reply, and although every reply letter is identical, a team of volunteers is on hand to ensure that each and every reply features its own hand-written personalised postscript. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Canada Post holds the record for sending and receiving the most letters to Santa worldwide.
The 'Write To Santa' programme has had the occasional problem in the past, such as the seven year-old from Oshawa, Ontario who received a Santa message in 1999 that called him "one greedy little boy!", but nothing to compare to the crisis that hit the programme in 2007.
The first indication of any problems came on the 12th December when a Ms Da Costa of Coulter Place in Orléans, Ontario sat down with her two-year-old daughter Maya to read out her Santa letter and was somewhat mortified to discover that the personal postscript read "This letter is too long, you dumb shit." Ms Da Costa duly rang the Canada Post call centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick, who were naturally very apologetic and concerned at this unfortunate lapse in standards. In the circumstances they believed that it might be an idea to open the similar letter addressed to her ten year-old son Colton. This was probably just as well, as Colton's personal message informed him that; "Your mom sucks dick and your Dad is gay." Ms Da Costa then contacted the Ottawa Citizen and the publicity resulted in the identification of a further fifteen "inappropriate letters", all of which were reported within what Canadians like to refer to as the National Capital Region. Although, sad to say, details of the exact "inappropriate" nature of these additional letters were not forthcoming.
According to the official spokesperson from Canada Post, they were of the firm belief that there was "just one rogue elf out there". They further announces that they were working with the Ottawa Police Service to identify the individual responsible, and all indications were that the full panoply of modern criminal investigation techniques would be employed to identify the miscreant.
On the 13th December Canada Post temporarily shutdown the 'Write To Santa' program, and on the following day announced "new security measures" to prevent a reoccurrence of the problem, whilst on the 16th it launched a 'Save Santa' campaign, in which another team of volunteers was engaged to extract Santa-related mail that was already in the system in the Ottawa area and scan each one for offensive messages. So far, no further "inappropriate letters" letters have come to light.
- Bad Santa's obscene mail, The Sun 15 Dec 2007
- Richard Starnes, Canada Post 'heartbroken' over naughty Santa letters, The Ottawa Citizen, December 14, 2007
- Roger Collier, Volunteers step in to clean up rogue's naughty language, The Ottawa Citizen, December 16, 2007
- Kenneth Jackson, Cops hunt lewd Santa writer, The Ottawa Sun, December 15, 2007
- Canada Post media releases from