North Branford Postal Worker Gives North Pole a Hand

Tracy Candelli, a clerk at the North Branford Post Office, makes sure Santa gets–and then responds to–children’s Christmas letters.

For the past 18 years, Tracy Candelli, a clerk at the , has given Santa a helping hand, making sure every child who writes a letter to Santa gets a hand-written response from the big guy himself, postmarked right from the North Pole.

Candelli isn’t the first employee at the post office to make sure Santa gets these important letters. Her mom, who is a postal carrier, and other clerks served as Santa’s liaisons before Candelli took over.

“Since my mom is a carrier, she gets quite busy at this time of year,” said Candelli. “I was straight out of high school then and I had the spare time.”

The Spirit of Christmas

Though Candelli has worked at the window of the post office for the past 16 years, she helps Santa out in her own spare time. She also uses her own resources to ensure no strain on the postal system, which is exploring options including to save money.

She gathers all of the letters to Santa and makes sure that St. Nick sees all of the special requests.

“Some will ask if an elf can call or if they can get a picture of reindeer,” said Candelli, who helps Santa make their dreams come true. “You also get ones that pull at the heartstrings once in a while.”

In true post office spirit, nothing can get in Candelli’s way of making sure every child’s letter is answered–though it wasn’t rain nor sleet nor gloom of night that had Candelli away from the post office for a while.

Eight years ago, while on maternity leave, Candelli made sure to take the time to continue her work with Santa.

“I wanted to make sure it went on as normal,” she said. “And it’s nice to see the kids grow over the years. It’s the same kids year after year and that’s what it’s about.”

Have a Letter for Santa?

Has your child ? If you get their letter to the North Branford Post Office, Candelli and the rest of the staff will be sure it gets to the North Pole–and back–in time for Christmas.

You can put your child's letter in your mailbox addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole” or simply bring it into the post office where your child can put it in Santa's mailbox. Just be sure your child signs the letter with their name and address at the bottom of their letter.

“If I get one in the lobby from other towns, we make sure they get back to where they need to go, too,” said Candelli. “This is what Christmas is all about.”

Denise Buffa December 09, 2011 at 11:00 AM
What Christmas spirit! Thank you Ms. Candelli -- and thank you Jenn for the wonderful story!
Kris Smith December 09, 2011 at 11:45 AM
My kids are 19 and 20-years old now and those letters were one of the highlights of the Christmas season...Thank you for that!!
Jenn McCulloch December 09, 2011 at 12:49 PM
thanks Denise!
Nicole Ball December 09, 2011 at 02:05 PM
It's people like Tracy Candelli who remind you what the holiday is all about... great story Jenn!
Cheryl Horner December 09, 2011 at 06:59 PM
Tracy is always polite and professional when I come in the post office. She is more than patient when I have questions sending a package or a letter to send out. I not surprise she goes out of her way in making sure the children receive a response from Santa!!! This memory of Santa responding to them will stay with them into adulthood!!! Again, thank you Tracy for beening a great worker and a good human being!!! Happy Holiday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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