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There’s not much time left to get your letter to Santa. These days you can submit an online letter and get an instant reply, but that’s just not the same as pen and paper. Australia Post provides instructions whichever way you want to do it, including how to address the envelope (North Pole, postcode 9999, plus, wouldn’t you know it, a 60 cent stamp), and if you live in Australia they promise they will reply. In the United States, USPS has been officially involved with Santa mail since 1912, when Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorised postal employees to reply to the letters. In New York, ‘Operation Santa’ responds to more than half a million letters each year. You could post your Santa letter here, in this red pillar box that has been in use in NSW for more than a hundred years. The hinge is showing some wear and tear but the instruction is as clear as ever. Although the typeface looks very much like Trade Gothic, it isn’t: Trade Gothic was designed in 1948, years after this postbox was made. Amazingly, if Australia Post imposed its current sans serif font of choice, Univers, over this century old type style, it wouldn’t look very different.

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