What I've always done in the past was to create the reply from Santa with a graphics program. It took quite a chunk of time to find the right clipart to use in the letter each year. After hours of work and the letter was finally done, I would email the file to my sister who would in turn print it out and mail it back to Jake. This worked for a couple of years, but now that he is a skilled reader, I'm afraid that he might notice things like the town where the letter was postmarked. You may think I was crazy for doing all that work for years when it would have been much easier to have a letter sent on Santa's behalf by a company like Birthday in a Box. Well, the main thing I was worried about was how believable a generic letter would be, as opposed to a letter written by me especially for my son.
This year, Birthday in a Box is offering 3 different Letters from Santa Claus. I personally was looking for a letter that seemed like a logical response to the one my son had written. I wanted it to be believable and somewhat personalized. I did find such a letter on BirthdayInABox.com . Out of the 3 styles of letters available, the "Santa's Workshop" letter seemed to be perfect for my son. It was able to be customized with my son's name and hometown. It also was centered around the topic of toys, which kept my son's interest.
I think it was a nice touch to have the letter arrive in a large red envelope. It made the letter seem more special to my son. A surprise for my son, which accompanied the letter, was a coloring sheet that housed a recipe for butterscotch gingerbread cookies plus two ornaments that can be colored and cut out. It even included two silver elasticized cords for hanging the ornaments on the tree.
As I had stated previously, my biggest concern was whether the letter would be believable to my son. This one definitely was. I would like to suggest that Birthday in a Box might consider adding further personalization above and beyond the child's name and hometown. I would love to see an option to mention the child's teacher's name, siblings' names, and the toy they had requested from Santa. Another thing I thought might seem odd to an older child is that the letter and the activity sheet both came protected in clear plastic. I completely understand why the letter and activity sheet need to be protected, but I wonder if there is another way around it? Perhaps using a water-resistant envelope instead? After all, how many letters do you receive where the letter is inside plastic? Luckily, this is not something a kindergartner would question, but I think an older child might possibly find it to be odd.
To view all three options for Letters from Santa, visit BirthdayInABox.com . All Santa Letters come with Free Shipping! In order to have the letter reach your child in time for Christmas, you must place your order by December 15th, 2009. For a limited time, Birthday in a Box is offer flat rate shipping of $4.99 for all orders sent by Standard FedEx Ground Shipping within the continental United States.
Thank you to Birthday in a Box for providing us with a review product free of charge.