With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving fast approaching, we all know that means just one thing—Christmas is almost here. For children, this is an exciting time of the year. One age-old tradition that is being kept alive is ‘Letters to Santa.’
The Regent, located at 6437 Watson Rd. in Riverview, will once again serve as a special North Pole drop-off location for Letters to Santa. A mailbox is located outside The Regent’s front doors and will remain there through Christmas.
Soon, a life-size Santa will appear at the door closest to the mailbox so children can see him watching as they drop their letters in the special leg of the North Pole Post Office.
Letters received by Friday, December 17 will receive a specially drafted personal response before Christmas. In addition to the response, children will receive a gift of a Happy Meal card or Chick-fil-A ice cream/cookie card.
This is the second year The Regent has served as a leg of the North Pole Post Office. According to Shannon Keil, chief executive officer for The Regent, “We started last year, knowing kids were at home needing some activity. With COVID distance and gathering guidelines in mind, the outside box gave kids the opportunity to come and experience a fun activity, with anticipation of a return letter—all while being safe.”
Keil explained, “We retrieve the letters and my staff, partners and community volunteers help Santa write letters back with a gift of a Happy Meal card or Chick-fil-A ice cream/cookie card enclosed.”
The Regent is the primary sponsor of the event, but community partners include Dustin Portillo with Caspers McDonald’s and Tammy Holmberg with Lake Brandon Chick-fil-A. Keil said, “Both of these partners were willing to help us last year when this program was new and we were not sure of the response. They are staples in our community and thought of as leaders with heart, as they give often and do it with genuine love for their community.”
Keil added, “It is a safe, well-thought-through activity. I like that it brings a little bit of the Christmas magic back to kids, as so many things have been changed due to the pandemic and political climate. There will be more decorations this year and lots of holiday photo op spots starting the first week of December.”
For more information about The Regent, please visit www.experiencetheregent.com.