Children writing to Santa Clause in Finland may not get any response this year, or if they get one, it could be only written in English.
Half a million people, presumably mainly children, wrote to Santa Clause in Finland last year, and those giving a complete, clear return address were supposed have received a printed response telling about Finland and its Lapland area where Santa Clause supposedly lives.
Due to saving measures at the decade-old Santa Clause postal office, only "a few thousand" responses will be sent this year and they will be written in English only, the Director of Consumer Letters at the postal service Ulla Seppala told Finnish magazine Seura.
Auli Sihvo, the foreman of the Santa Clause post office located in Rovaniemi, told Seura that children worldwide write to Santa Clause about their wishes and their lives but they probably cannot even imagine that they would get a response.
However, she assured that all letters will be opened this year even though a response may not be sent.
Santa Clause responses have been a successful brand for the Nordic country. Last year China became the main source of letters, surpassing earlier major senders such as Britain and Poland.
The response from Santa Clause has been written in numerous languages, but this year the children worldwide apparently will receive English letters only.
So far the Santa Clause post service has got a small compensation from the government. Last year it was 84,000 euros (about 91,560 U.S. dollars), but the post office has decided not to apply for the assistance for 2015 any longer.
Director Seppala was quoted by Seura as saying that "filing the application was also a cumbersome process". She was not willing to specify the size of the savings the postal service makes through reducing the operations.
In a bigger picture, the Finnish national postal service has been reducing its staff in recent years. Last autumn 239 employees were dismissed throughout Finland.