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TOPIC: santa claus

Switzerland

Does Santa Exist? A Case For Telling Kids The Truth — And Keeping The Lie

According to new psychology research, lying to kids about the subject of Santa Claus risks ruining their confidence and altering the parent-child relationship.

GENEVA — The ritual has been respected for 60 years now. Each December, Switzerland's official postal service assigns five employees to respond to thousands of letters from children addressed to Santa Claus. "We send them a note and a present," says Nathalie Dérobert, spokeswoman for La Poste. And yes, to maintain the magic, the letters purport to come from Santa's helpers.

The letters come from all over Switzerland, even some from abroad, and they are increasing — an estimated 18,700 are expected this year. While everything else seems to have gone digital, the handwritten letter to Santa Claus is a tradition that is still holding strong. Of course, many of the kids' letters have been prompted and encouraged by their parents who tell of a fat man dressed in red ready to twist his belly down the chimney to spread goodies around the Christmas tree. The ritual and family joy is at the center of the holiday warmth in households around the world.

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Polar Family Circle

Though it has long, cold and snowy winters, Finland's northernmost province of Lapland, famous for being the traditional home of Santa Claus, has warm (enough) summers. Here, my wife Claudine, my daughter Cécile and I are posing for a sunny family portrait along the polar circle.

Obama Vs. Rambo Vs. Wolverine: Meet Brazil's Most Colorful Candidates

NEW YORK TIMES (US), O GLOBO (Brazil)

Worldcrunch

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