GE: Imagination At Work. Literally.

Just when you think General Electric couldn’t warm your house any more, you find out what the local Schenectady plant is responding to all the letters kids are writing to Santa Claus.


Photo from Paul Buckowski/The Times Union

In 1994, the General Electric plant off Erie Boulevard was given the privilege (and burden) of the zip code 12345. This may seem like nothing out of the ordinary, but that zip code just so happens to be the same as Santa’s at the North Pole.

The offices receive thousands of letters to Santa, and they don’t go by unnoticed. Employees at the plant take time out of their lunch break to answer the letters one by one, which is admirable considering I spend my break stuffing my face with food and laughing at Twitter.


Employees responding to letters. Photo from The Daily Gazette

“They’ll be honest, if they’re bad, or what they did to their brothers or sisters, and they’ll say, ‘I’m sorry and I’m going to behave,” said Darlene Muscanell, an administrative assistant at GE and part time Santa’s helper.

“They’ll ask how the reindeer are, they’ll ask what kind of cookies Santa likes, they’ll ask for Rudolph and the elves, and for kids that are less fortunate.”

Last year alone the group responded to around 1,443 letters, some including just a simple list of what they would like under the tree, others include drawings and goodies.


Photo from Patrick Dodson/The Daily Gazette

This gets me all excited for the season but also makes me dread what the future for kids will be like once the post office becomes obsolete. Will kids make dank memes and fire tweets and send them to like @Santa12345? God I hope not.

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These volunteers really help put the meaning of the holiday season into perspective. It’s hard not to get all warm and fuzzy inside. I might even write a letter myself to the address myself just to feel that magical Christmas feeling.



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