By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(Oct. 25, 2018) “I met Santa as a young girl and have always believed in Santa Claus,” said Ocean Pines Aquatics Director Colby Phillips.
For the last six years, Phillips has helped deliver thousands of letters to children on behalf of everyone’s favorite North Pole resident.
Last year alone, she mailed 400 personalized letters from Santa to children in Worcester County and neighboring areas.
“As I’ve gotten older, I offered to take on a little bit of his responsibility and help him,” Phillips said. “I’ve been working for Santa Claus for six years. He’s very jolly. He encourages lots of sweets, which is great, because I enjoy that. I try really hard though not to get on his diet, because I personally don’t want to end up looking like Santa Claus, but he’s a very nice guy to work for.”
Phillips said the benefits were also great, although she doesn’t get dental.
“Just the Tooth Fairy does dental work,” she said. “But I should see about working with the Tooth Fairy too, so I can get on that plan.”
All it takes to get a personalized letter from Santa is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include each child’s name and mailing address. Letters are run by Santa at his workshop and then addressed by Phillips to each household.
Also, she tends to use a lot of glitter.
“My dog [Lottie] is usually covered in that for a while,” Phillips said. “My entire house sparkles for several months.”
She also handles letters addressed to Santa and sent to the Ocean Pines Post Office.
“They put a North Pole mailbox up specifically when they knew I started doing this,” Phillips said. “I also will help with the ones at the recreation department in Ocean Pines, so they can drop them off there or at the post office, and I will send a letter back to the kids.”
Materials – including stamps and envelopes – are donated by Santa’s workshop and by various businesses and community members.
“Thank you to everyone who had donated stamps and paper over the years as it truly helps!” she said.
Phillips started the program when her daughters were younger and she got to witness a child’s expression when opening a sparkle-filled letter from THE legendary Santa Claus.
That feeling, she said, is what keeps her going.
“I do get a lot of pictures and videos that people send me through my email or my Facebook page showing me their child opening the letter and reading it,” she said. “That’s what motivates me, is the reaction on the other end.”
When the season ends, Phillips said she goes back to overseeing the aquatics, parks and recreation, and racquet sports programs in Ocean Pines. She said Santa generally takes a few weeks off, in Florida, and then gets right back to work in January.
“It takes a long time to prepare to deliver presents to all the good boys and girls in the country and around the world,” she said.