By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(Jan. 7, 2021) More than 200 people sent a letter to the North Pole through the “Letters for Santa” mailbox in the foyer of the Berlin Welcome Center on 14 S. Main St. from the middle of November to Dec. 18.
“This year was more than ever,” said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director. “We send them to Santa, and Santa reads each and every one.”
He shared some of the letters he received with Wells.
“It was amazing to see how many children were asking for things for their brothers and sisters, which was so heartfelt” she said.
Wells added that a few letters stood out with comical and compassionate messages for Father Christmas.
“Somebody wanted a flamingo. Somebody wanted their own Easter Bunny,” she said. “One of the children said, ‘Please make all the germs go away,” and he was probably referring to covid. Someone had put a P.S. to Santa, saying ‘Remember to wear your mask.’”
Old St. Nick then responded to the letters he received with personal messages as well as coupons for a “free treat” from the following downtown locations: Baked Dessert Café, On What Grounds, Rayne’s Reef Soda Fountain & Grill and Island Creamery.
Wells has served as Santa’s helper in Berlin for five years after bringing the letter campaign to town, which she started at her previous job in Sykesville, Maryland.
“Steve and Debbie Frene donated the giant mailbox,” Wells said after she struggled to find one for the campaign. “We have a perfect setup because the foyer of the Welcome Center is open 24/7, and this way parents [and kids] could come and drop the letters off at any time.”
Most of the letters for Santa came from residents in Berlin and Ocean City, but some addresses were from Pennsylvania, Virginia and other parts of Maryland, Wells said.
She also said that Santa looks forward to the letters from Berlin every year.
“Santa hopes that everyone did receive a letter back,” she added. “He wanted us to share that 2021 was going to be better than 2020, and he looks forward to reading everyone’s letters for next year.”