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Christmas magic returns to Allerton café after Letters to Santa melted the owner’s heart

8 months ago

Christmas magic returns to Allerton café after Letters to Santa melted the owner’s heart

A Liverpool café owner has relaunched a Letters to Santa service after being bowled over by an amazing response last year.

Hannah Todd, who owns The Interesting Eating Company, received more than a hundred messages for Father Christmas after setting up a ‘magic mailbox’ in the Allerton Road eatery and community hub.

And she says some simply melted her heart:

“I had some really touching letters to pass on to Father Christmas that I couldn’t share, and a surprising number wishing Santa well.

“It was lovely to read, in between the ‘I want’ and ‘can I have?’ lists. One just said ‘I’m just checking in to see if you’re okay.  I’ll be waiting for you on Christmas Eve’.”

“As well as Christmas, the era of wellbeing is upon us, and it’s so heart-warming to see the younger generation caring.”

After speaking to the man in red, Hannah says she has set up ‘Letters from the North Pole’ again this year, and young people who write to Santa and drop their letter off at TIEC before Wednesday, December 20, will all receive a reply as well as their original letter back to keep as a memento.

Hannah, who took over The Interesting Eating Company with the aim of turning it into a hub for the neighbourhood after the pandemic, initially put the mailbox up in the café for decoration:

“But I realised we could create a bit of magic and keep the spirit of Christmas alive.

“The warmth, joy, and hope of Christmas are what makes it special, along with a little bit of magic which is what I wanted children in the area to be able to enjoy.

“Young people can bring their letters to us by hand or post them to the café via local post – hopefully there won’t be delays – and they will be collected and sent to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole where I have been promised someone (maybe Father Christmas or, even, Mrs Claus!) will reply.”

“They will return the letters to me and I will make sure their owners get them – providing they have given Santa an address! It will be a hand-written reply and they will get their original letter back too.

“When I was younger I worried about all sorts of things I shouldn’t have been troubled by, and Father Christmas wrote to me and told me not to be worried and just do my best because that’s what he does.  I have still got that letter now.

“Life is hard for a lot of people at the moment but there should still be fun where possible, and so I want to be able to create it where I can. Spreading joy at Christmastime is one of the most important things we can do.”

Hannah is also welcoming the big man himself to the café on Thursday, December 14, for a Pancakes with Father Christmas event.

There are two sessions between 2.30-4pm, and 4.30-6pm, when people can have a pancake treat, and chat to Father Christmas and have photos taken with him.  Booking is needed because spaces are limited, and the cost is £15 per person, with £5 from each person attending being donated to Marie Curie Hospice Liverpool.

Hannah explains:

“Helping them to provide support to families at a sensitive and special time of year means the world to me. I was blessed to have a last Christmas with my mum before she spent time in Marie Curie, and I cannot thank the team there enough for what they did for me and my family in her final days.

“My mum was the spirit of Christmas in our house, and we carry on in her memory.”

If you want to post a letter – although Hannah says it’s better to deliver it in person to guarantee it getting there – send it to TIEC, 117 Allerton Road, Liverpool L18 2DD.

Find more information about Letters to Santa and book Pancakes with Santa here.

Find Christmas Events across the Liverpool City Region here.

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