Four years ago, a Craighall Park couple started a heartwarming Santa letter box initiative where children can submit their letters to Santa and get a written response. Better yet, playing Santa is only one part of this very special story:
Craighall Park, South Africa (01 December 2023) — Every year for the past four, children who want to write letters to Santa have found his address on Hamilton Avenue in Craighall Park.
There, couple Martin Pienaar and Joss du Trevou have committed to turning their home into a festive spectacle annually. A highlight of a visit (and there are many highlights) is being able to submit a letter to Santa via a letter box where a written response will soon be on the way for those who leave their email address.
In a world where the little things count so much, the couple have done something well worth doing. Speaking to Good Things Guy, Joss (whom Martin credits for the Christmas cheer initiative) shares that the little letterbox has grown wonderfully over the years.
“We have been overwhelmed by the community’s response especially to our Santa letter box. We started the initiative 4 years ago, and received about 30 letters. It has now grown significantly and received over 700 letters last year! Seeing the enthusiasm of young kids delivering their letters to Santa makes the initiative so special and worthwhile.” — Joss du Trevou.
Beyond this, the house is kitted out with lights reflective of the spirit of the couple who live there. There’s even live music and a toy drive.
“Through various supporting initiatives we are able to support The Salvation Army (who come and play one evening in December every year), and Tembisa Child Welfare (residents bring old toys on the night which we deliver to them),” adds Joss.
And year-round, Joss is committed to his community. As a member of the Craighall Park Residents Association, he helps facilitate activities for all special times of year including Easter and trick or treating on Halloween as well as community projects like a pothole repair team. Then, there’s going the extra mile to give others a hand up:
“Martin and I also try and support homeless people by providing support to take them from begging on street corners to starting their own small businesses by providing start up seed capital to buy goods to re-sell, or help them start small service business such as dog walking.”
The people behind Santa’s letters might be secret (to the kids at least), but their hearts couldn’t be more open and true to the spirit of the festive symbol.