• Germany edition
 
Santa's helpers await Christmas wish lists
Photo: DPA

Santa's helpers await Christmas wish lists

Published: 27 Nov 2012 10:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 27 Nov 2012 10:40 GMT+01:00

More than 3,000 have already arrived in the Christmas sorting office in Himmelstadt, Bavaria. These ones are addressed the Christkind, the infant Jesus who traditionally brings gifts to children in southern Germany on 24 December.

That is just the beginning, said Rosemarie Schotte, who has run the Himmelstadt office for almost 20 years. "By the end of the season we're sure to have more than 80,000 again," she said.

Each one gets a reply in an envelope bearing a special stamp and of course the postmark showing where it was sent from – and, Schotte told The Local, if the letters are in English, they’ll receive a reply in English.

Elsewhere in Germany, requests are made to instead to Father Christmas - the Weihnachtsmann - or to St Nicholas, who delivers his gifts on 6 December.

Seven special Christmas post offices receive the letters - whose numbers just keep growing.

"Despite texting, Facebook and Twitter, there are more every year. That's the trend we're recording. It's astonishing," said post office spokesman Alexander Böhm.

Most children send their Christmas wish lists. Few seem to beat about the bush in stating their preferences. "The kids are always bang up to date, especially as far as toys are concerned. Whatever's just come on the market often ends up on the lists," noted Schotte.

Others write with more personal problems such as requests for help, for sick relatives or from irritating siblings. These too receive individual replies.

"If the children have made a really special effort, then we write a few extra lines," said Schotte.

Many of the elves are volunteers; the postage and organisational costs are met by Deutsche Post.

"It's simply a beautiful thing," said Böhm.

Though for the sake of frazzled parents up and down the land, let's just hope that Santa doesn't dish out too many rash promises amidst all the festive good-will.

Children hoping to boost their hauls should write to the following addresses, making sure that their own details are legible. Most will deal with English letters and reply in English.

HIMMELPFORT (Brandenburg) An den Weihnachtsmann, Weihnachtspostfiliale 16798 Himmelpfort.

HIMMELSTADT (Bavaria) An das Christkind, 97267 Himmelstadt

HIMMELPFORTEN (Lower Saxony) An das Christkind / An den Weihnachtsmann, 21709 Himmelpforten

ST NIKOLAUS (Saarland) An den Nikolaus, 66351 Großrosseln-St. Nikolaus

ENGELSKIRCHEN (North Rhine-Westphalia) An das Christkind, 51777 Engelskirchen

HIMMELSTHÜR (Lower Saxony) An den Weihnachtsmann, Himmelsthür, 31117 Hildesheim

NIKOLAUSDORF (Lower Saxony) An den Nikolaus, Nikolausdorf, 49681 Garrel

DPA/The Local/pmw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Half of German navy helicopters grounded
A German navy Sea Lynx helicopter. Photo: DPA

Half of German navy helicopters grounded

Half of the German navy helicopter fleet has been grounded after engineers found large tears in the panelling of a British-made machine on deployment. READ  

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas
Photo: DPA

Germans say 'bah humbug' to early Xmas

Christmas treats have already hit the supermarket shelves, but Germans surveyed by YouGov say "too soon!", while a third of respondents are for the government taking action to name a release date for holiday wares. READ  

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison
Photo: DPA

Hoeneß pays tax bill, takes day off prison

The disgraced former president of Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeneß has paid €30 million of his outstanding taxes, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on Monday, and has taken a day off prison. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest
Photo: DPA

Fights and a skinny dip kick off Oktoberfest

UPDATE: Paramedics and police were kept busy at the opening weekend of Munich's Oktoberfest, treating hundreds of revellers and arresting dozens, though it was still considered a peaceful start. READ  

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad
A photograph from the jihadist affiliated group Albaraka News allegedly shows a fighter from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) tying up an Iraqi soldier Photo: DPA/EPA

Child warriors, 13, leave Germany for jihad

Children as young as 13 are travelling from Germany to Syria and Iraq to join Islamic jihadists, according to German intelligence agencies. READ  

Germany rules out air strikes, troops in Iraq
Syrian refugees flee conflict to Turkey. Photo: DPA

Germany rules out air strikes, troops in Iraq

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said Germany would not be involved in air strikes or any ground offensive in the fight against Islamic State (Isis) jihadists in Iraq. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's food

The Local's final and fourth guide to Oktoberfest tucks into some the finer victuals on offer. READ  

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'
Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann: Photo: DPA

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'

The head of Germany's powerful Bundesbank sharply criticised what he called a radical new approach by the European Central Bank of easy money, in an interview published Sunday. READ  

MH17 Crash
Families of German MH17 victims to sue
Australian and Dutch investigators examine a piece of debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane. Photo: EPA/DPA/ Igor Kovalenko

Families of German MH17 victims to sue

Relatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, a lawyer said Sunday. READ  

Sport
Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top
Paderborn players celebrate after defeating Hanover 2-0 to go top of the Bundesliga. Photo: DPA

Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top

Promoted Paderborn went top of the Bundesliga helped by an extraordinary 80-metre strike at Hanover on Saturday as champions Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by struggling Hamburg. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
DPA
Gallery
The best photos from Oktoberfest's opening weekend
Photo: Joanna Drath, University of Tübingen
Society
Europeans descended from three tribes
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,315
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd