Every year, letters to Santa arrive by the tens of thousands asking everything from the latest tech gadgets to the hottest new toys. But this year, children's letters are beginning to express the fears of a pandemic and questions about why their world has been turned upside down. From an article at nbcconnecticut.com, 10-year-old Lola writes:

I wish my aunt will never have cancer again and that this virus no longer exists. My mom is a care giver and sometimes I am afraid for her. Take care of yourself, Santa Claus and the Elves.

According to usatoday.com, there is one tradition that continues to stand tall this year, regardless of the coronavirus, and that is the U.S. Postal Service's Operation Santa. Children of all ages are encouraged to mail their letters to Santa from now until December 15 to "Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888".

Another letter to Santa from Almir via 'Operation Santa' read how his heart was "crushed" when his mom died of cervical cancer as he asked for any help for his family, like maybe a warm coat and some gloves. Many of this year's letters to Santa tug at the heartstrings like this one from 10-year-old Julian:

Dear Santa, my wish is money for my parents. It would help us a lot. They're having a rough time with the bills. We also need internet so I can study and so my dad can look up my brother's grades. I also want bikes so we can ride as a family.

One in every three letters to Santa mentions the pandemic, whether it be a wish for life to go back to normal, visits from grandparents, or help for their families. The CDC recommends that you talk with your children about the COVID-19 outbreak. Suggestions on how to approach your kids and what to say can be found on the website cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019.com.

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