LIBOURNE, France (AP) — Letters pouring by the tens of thousands into Santa's mailbox offer a glimpse into the worries and hopes of children awaiting a pandemic-hit Christmas.

Any letter addressed “Pere Noel” — French for Father Christmas — and popped into any post box around the world can wend its way to the postal sorting office in France’s Bordeaux region. It has been handling his mail since 1962.

Along with usual pleas for toys and gadgets, kids are also mailing requests for vaccines, for visits from grandparents, for life to return to the way it was. The office estimates that one letter in three mentions the pandemic.

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