[WARNING: Santa Spoilers]
It's the most wonderful time of the year; a time with magic and Christmas cheer. It's also the time of year when children from all over the world write "Dear Santa."
Thousands of letters from local children hoping to get in touch with the head elf himself find their way to Jacksonville's U.S. Postal Service Distribution center.
Their messages to Santa all have a common theme:
"Dear Santa -"
"All I want for Christmas -"
"I've been kind of good this year -"
"Are you tired of cookies?"
"This is Santa-letter time," smiled Melisa Mendez who works security for the USPS marketing department.
For the last six years, Mendez has volunteered her time replying to children's letters on Santa's behalf. This year alone, over 11,000 letters are expected to be answered within her district by other volunteers and Mendez is responsible for 3,000 of those letters.
"Here it is, this one's a good one," she said. "This one is from Taylor. She wants a bicycle."
She said the letters can range from good to bad, happy to sad, to even inventive and artistic.
She said she's seen pictures drawn of Santa. Mendez also said many kids ask for electronics, puppies or kittens. However, she said there are ones that stick out to her in her memory.
"One of the most memorable ones wrote to Santa because he just lost his father," she described. "... Some don't even ask for themselves, but for others," she added.
Mendez admits that some letters are harder to read than others. However, she knows the importance of replying back: It's a way to keep a little bit of the magic alive.