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Saint Nick to write to Bethlehem children

After a week of relatively balmy weather, it might seem like winter will never reach the Capital District. But the signs of the season will inevitably make themselves known in the coming weeks, and that includes the annual Town of Bethlehem Letters to Santa program.

Children will have the chance to correspond with the big guy himself starting Wednesday, Nov. 18, when drop boxes will be installed by the Bethlehem Police Department around town. Locations will include elementary schools, Town Hall, the town library and at Stewart's stores around town in Glenmont, Feura Bush, Selkirk and Delmar.

"I think it's a great program," said Detective Michael Whiteley, who works with the police department's Family Services Unit. "We've picked up boxes that are chock full."

The police will collect the letters and bring them to the hardworking elves at Bethlehem Senior Services, who will make sure they make it to Santa at the North Pole.

"The elves just work for Santa, but Santa signs his letters," said Senior Services Assistant Director Joyce Becker.

She also advised kids to be sure to include a mailing address with their letter.

"Santa may know where all people live, but the post office might not," she said.

Make sure to drop your letter by Dec. 10 to make sure Santa has enough time to answer it. With an average of 500 letters every year, it's a pretty big undertaking. Parents and grandparents of small children are also encouraged to submit a request on the child's behalf.

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