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New ways to write to Saint Nicolas this year
Belgium’s postal service Bpost is aiming to make children even happier this festive season, giving them more ways to write their Christmas letters to Saint Nicolas.
Up until now, children have written their letter or sent drawings to Saint Nicolas's secretary's office, set up by Bpost to reply to the thousands of Christmas missives received each year.
Now, they can also write their letters and then bring them to post into a special safe themselves, where they will be welcomed by the man himself and his team, Bpost spokeswoman Fanny Mindombe said.
The special ‘Distributeur de Saintnicolis’ launched at Docks Bruxsel shopping centre earlier this month, and has travelled to Namur and Mons before it moves to Bruges on 22-23 November, Liège on 25-26 November, Brussels-Central station on 29-20 November and finally Antwerp on 2-3 December.
“Saint Nicolas is doing the rounds of most regional capitals to bring the magic to children,” Bpost said, complete with a video message and distribution of presents.
Children who want to continue sending letters the traditional way can do so until 28 November – and Saint Nicolas's "employees" will write back to them before 6 December. Later deliveries until 15 December are possible for a return before Christmas Eve.
To receive a reply in Dutch, letters need to be addressed to Sinterklaas, Spanjestraat 1, 0612 Hemel and for French, the address is Saint Nicolas, Rue du Paradis 1, 0612 Ciel. No stamps are needed, but putting a return address is essential.
“Replying to Saint Nicolas’s letters is a made-to-measure mission for Bpost,” chief executive Jos Donvil said.
“This time, we wanted to spread the magic a bit further, by making children discover another method than the red letter box or post in a playful way.
"With this new concept, we hope that Saint Nicolas will be able to make even more children happy with Bpost’s help.”
Another way of addressing the great man is via a joint class note from third year ‘maternelle’ (pre-school) to third-year primary children (5-10 year olds). Schoolchildren will then receive a general reply from Saint Nicolas delivered to the classroom.
This year’s Saint Nicolas campaign has not pleased everyone, however. Bpost’s omission of a special post box for Luxembourg province caused a mini-scandal.
Belgium’s deputy prime minister Petra De Sutter (Groen) said at oshe was “shocked” that Luxembourg was left out of Saint Nicolas’s rounds.