Letters to Santa first began regularly appearing in newspapers around the 1880s. Every December since then, newspapers across the nation have published children’s requests for the gifts they want most.

Wausau Pilot & Review is continuing that tradition this Christmas. We won’t be delivering gifts – that is not our goal here. But we hope to spread joy by sharing the words of the children in our community, whose hopes and dreams are inspirational in themselves.

Writing letters to Santa is an age-old tradition. This year, as we did last year, children are encouraged to write those letters and send them to us. The newspaper will publish letters received in a special section at Christmastime. Letters will be published on Dec. 23.

Teachers and schools are encouraged to send letters from students as well. For example, elementary schools throughout the country have taken the opportunity to teach students about letter-writing and then send each class’s letters for publication in local newspapers.

Letters may be emailed to editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mailed to Santa in care of Wausau Pilot & Review, 500 N. Third St., Wausau, WI 54403. Please include the age of the child writing the letter. In order for letters to be published, we must receive them no later than 5 p.m. on Dec. 20.

Email is encouraged, but if letters are handwritten, please be sure the writing is legible so they can be transcribed correctly. Some may be scanned for publication purposes – after all, children’s drawings are as much a delight as the letters themselves.

In these turbulent times, we could all use a little faith and harmony. Perhaps the best way to spread joy during the Christmas season is by finding nuggets of cheer and hope.

And maybe, children’s letters to Santa Claus could provide that bit of welcome relief we all need.