When you’re a grown-up, it can be easy to get jaded about Christmas.
That’s why there’s something truly special about people who, even as grown-ups, still go the extra mile to make sure that Christmas feels magical, like the incredible white-bearded cop who told a little girl, “Yes, of course I’m Santa Claus.”
These are the incredible souls who know how important Christmas is, and who will do whatever it takes to keep the holiday spirit alive for “kids from one to ninety-two.”
Take, for example, Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker, an awesome NYC couple who have taken it upon themselves to be the personal Santas of the Big Apple and beyond!
In fact, Glaub and Parker, from 22nd St. in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, have given so many gifts this year (and in years past) that people have taken to calling them the “Miracle on 22nd St.”
Of course, they never set out to take on this gift-giving mission; the whole thing started years ago, with a few letters delivered to wrong address.
Scroll through below to learn more!
When Dylan Parker moved in with then-boyfriend Jim Glaub in 2010, he had no idea that Glaub’s Chelsea apartment came with an unusual perk: annual letters to Santa.
In fact, when Glaub first moved in, the previous residents warned him that he might occasionally get letters addressed to Santa Claus; for some reason, the 22nd St. address had been dubbed Santa’s NYC residence, and every year 3 or 4 letters showed up with wish lists of presents for Kris Kringle to deliver.
Then, in 2010, the year that Parker moved in, the number of letters suddenly spiked.
Instead of getting 3 or 4 letters that year, the couple received a whopping 450 letters; all addressed to Santa, all pleading with the man at the North Pole for roller skates and video games and toys.
Among the more standard requests were a few pleas that were just heartbreaking — and couldn’t be ignored.
Glaub told People that one little boy wrote in asking for a bed to sleep on. “That,” said Glaub, “was like a punch in the gut.”
With the flood of letters that came in 2010, Glaub and Parker set about trying to fulfill as many as they could.
That first year, they managed to answer about 150 letters out of a total close to 450.
It was a good start, but they knew they had to do more to help the kids writing to Santa, many of whom were writing from within the five boroughs of New York City.
They started a Facebook group called Miracle on 22nd Street, where they assigned friends and collaborators to help them answer letters and send gifts to kids in need.
The operation has only grown in the past six years, and it has become a staple of the NYC Christmas season to help out in the community by answering one of the ‘Miracle’ Santa letters.
Glaub and Parker are delighted by the way their little Christmas project has taken off, and they’re stunned by how it has turned into a worldwide movement for spreading Christmas cheer!
The couple, who married in 2012, two years after the initial onslaught of letters, don’t even live in the apartment anymore.
In fact, they moved to London for work months ago, and haven’t lived in the rented apartment for a long while, but they’re still just as involved as ever.
They coordinate with the current tenant to count up letters as they come in, and distribute them to folks who want to answer the letters and send a gift.
In the six years since the letters first started arriving, Glaub and Parker have made sure that not a single wishlist goes unanswered.
There are no specific requirements for fulfilling the letter, but they make sure that anyone who writes to “Santa” at their old address gets some sort of response or gift for Christmas.
Some of the gift givers have even formed friendships with the families they donate to, usually all within the five mile radius of New York City.
The kids who write in almost always live in NYC, but the letter-fulfillers sometimes come from as far afield as Abu Dhabi or Germany.
Glaub and Parker still don’t know why their address become the de facto Santa headquarters, but they suspect a connection to the estate of Clement Clark Moore, who wrote ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and used to receive letters to Santa in his own Chelsea home in the 1800’s.
Still, they say that it doesn’t really matter how the letters got started, just that they hold up their end of the deal, and make sure that each and every one is answered with a healthy dose of Christmas spirit!
If you’d like to get involved, you can learn more at the Miracle on 22nd Street Facebook page, or explore the nationwide Be An Elf program from the US Postal Service.
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