Kids will believe anything. Tell them Barney loves helpful little children and you won’t have to get off the couch and go to the fridge during the NBA playoffs.
It is this youthful naivete that Byron Reese is taking advantage of. Reese is the founder of SantaMail.org, a business that sends personalized letters to children from the big man in a red suit. No, not Iron Man. Santa Claus.
Reese was a gullible tot. His mother gave him letters from Santa every Christmas. And he was crestfallen to learn the truth. Yet he is now passing on the trauma torch to thousands of other tykes. When he started, back in 2001, he right away sold 10,000 letters. A few years ago sales topped $1 million.
His letters are all postmarked from the North Pole and printed on classy linen paper. On the envelope is a Santa stamp.
To get ahead of the December rush, Reese starts work in February. But he’s now also spreading the magic year-round. Parents can order birthday cards from Santa, as well as post-Christmas greetings from a suntanned St. Nick on a beach in Hawaii.
Well, everybody’s got to believe in something. To paraphrase our favorite fat man, W.C. Fields, we believe we’ll have another beer and see how the Lakers are doing.