Obamanomics Changes Dynamics Of Letters To Santa

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New and sad: Kids write Santa this year for basic needs instead of toys

Santa Claus and his elves are seeing more heartbreaking letters this year as children cite their parents’ economic troubles in their wish lists.

U.S. Postal Service workers who handle letters addressed to Santa at the North Pole say more letters ask for basics – coats, socks and shoes – rather than Barbie dolls, video games and computers.

At New York City’s main post office, Head Elf Pete Fontana and 22 staff elves will sort 2 million letters in Operation Santa, which connects needy children with “Secret Santas” who answer their wishes.

Fontana, a customer relations coordinator for the Postal Service, has been head elf for 15 years.

“The need is greater this year than I’ve ever seen it,” he says. “One little girl didn’t want anything for herself. She wanted a winter coat for her mother.”

Some have even sent electricity turn off notices, asking for Santa’s help, and the number of Secret Santa’s has shrunk in this weak economy, where many people are simply holding on to their money, waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, to see if it ever improves, or if the other shoe drops and we get a double dip. Or a tax increase.

Meanwhile, first time jobless claims “unexpectedly” fell by a whopping 3,000 to 420,000, which leads Bloomberg to posit that the job market may be turning around. Yet “The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits rose by 22,000 in the week ended Dec. 4 to 4.14 million” and “Those who’ve used up their traditional benefits and are now collecting emergency and extended payments increased by 324,537 to 4.83 million in the week ended Nov. 27.”

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