Every holidays season for the past six years, Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker receive hundreds of letters to Santa Claus at their New York apartment. No one knows why this has been happening, or when exactly it started, but the two don’t much care. They’re just focused on making sure that every sender receives a Christmas present from Santa.
Even before 2010, Jim and Dylan used to receive a few letters addressed to Santa Claus, but they simply brushed them off as a “weird occurence”. But that year they got almost 400 of them, for some reason. “It was one batch after another,” Jim recalls. “We would dread opening up the mailbox because we knew 25, 30 letters would pour out.”
The letters are mostly from kids in the New York area, or from parents writing on behalf of their kids and asking for a miracle, explaining that they have fallen on hard times and could use a bit of help with presents from Santa Claus. Most letters ask for clothes, toys, and even turkeys for the Christmas dinner, and Jim and Dylan do everything in their power to make sure that their wishes get fulfilled.
Photo: Redglass Pictures video screengrab
When they got those first hundreds of letters, the two men realized they couldn’t simply ignore them anymore. “I was telling people about the letters and didn’t feel right about it at all,” Glaub said. “My friends were like, why don’t we each take a letter? It inspired me.”
So he started distributing letters to whoever wanted to step into the shoes of Santa – family, friends, people at work,, even random strangers on the street. “I was desperate,” Jim adds. Somehow they got the job done.
The next year it happened again, and the year after that as well. The couple now live in London, United Kingdom, but always make sure to answer the Christmas letters they receive at their old address on 22nd St. in Manhattan. They have a friend pick them up from the mail box, scan them and send them in digital format, over the internet. This year was a busy one as well, with over 350 letters to Santa to honor. But with the help of their friends and their Facebook group, they pulled it off.
Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker don’t really know why people send all these letters to their old home, but they have a few theories. They suspect that their address was printed in a school newsletter or mistaken for Macy’s, or that the person living in the apartment before them did the same thing, and they just inherited his legacy. “Everyone wants an answer to this, and maybe the answer is just that it’s a mystery,” Glaub says.
They don’t like to think that some of the letters might be scams, but that possibility is real, especially now that their story has gotten some attention from big media outlets like the New York Times. However, Jim told TODAY.com the story of a New York woman who tracked her present all the way to the return address just to make sure it wound up in the right hands.
“She was across the street watching, and like it was out of a movie, a bunch of kids run outside and catch the postman,” the man said. “She was crying, mascara going down her face. So yeah, maybe some of them are (scams). But God, I really think a lot of them are real.”
Jim and Dylan now want to set up a non-profit called “Miracle on 22nd Street”, and they are also in talks with Tina Fey about doing a movie based on their incredible story. “Everybody wants to help,” Glaub said. “So we’re going to create a nonprofit to help families in need hopefully year-round.”
The story of this annual Christmas miracle has already been captured in a short documentary by RedGlass Pictures.