Sneaking a peek at the kids' letters to Santa is a well-established tradition in getting a hint as to what they want for Christmas.
But a few of the letters sent to dear old Santa this year have brought a smile, and in some cases a tear, to the eye of even the most battled-hardened letter opener.
New Zealand Post's Michael Tull read through more than 3500 of this year's letters and says it was a moving, and often hilarious, experience.
"2011 has been a roller-coaster for New Zealand, and this was a refreshing opportunity to reflect on the joy our younger generation feels toward their families and the Christmas season.
"A sense of happy loving families and of pure optimism and enthusiasm shines through. It proves the old saying, we can learn a lot from our children," he said.
The spelling below is as it was written by the kids:
"I have tried to be good this year but my mum and dad tell me I'm not very good at it."
"I am trying to be good, but sometimes my brain does silly things."
"I have been a very naughty girl; however I love gifts."
"I have tried very hard to be good this year but I have done some naughty things. I am sorry and am trying hard to be good. Please don't listen to Aunty Vivian and still bring me my presents, please. I promise to try to be gooder."
"All I want for Christmas is my family to forgive me for all my mistakes and to have a good time. Oh yeah, please add choclate to that."
"Dear Santa, I am 3.5 and I learnt about you last week ... who knew that you existed and did such good work??!!"
"I have been pretty good but I spilt my raspberry on the new carpet and mum was NOT HAPPY I am a good boy. This year I would like the Police lego set that you couldn't fine last year please. I have been being very patient waiting a whole year."
"Dear santa I am going to do all my wees and poos in the toilet. can I please have a monster truck for christmas."
"I will leave your milk and cookies out, if they are not there Dad will have eaten them, don't leave him a present if he has."
"My mummy is writing this for me as I'm 3. I asked for the ground not to shake on christmas day I have PTSD from the earthquakes and thats what I want most. Oh and a new ball the dog ate mine."
"Dear Santa, I know I haven't written in many years but this year for Christmas I would very much like you to make the ground stop shaking in Christchurch."
"I am a good boy with an annoying brother so I think I should get something big this year."
"This year I'd like a helicoptor for Xmas – not a toy one but a real one like my Uncle Karl. If that can't fit in your sack maybe you could bring me a Thomas the Tank Engine set. Mum says a wooden one is better 'cos I'd probably break a plastic one."
"I want a new book for this Christmas because I ate most of my books!! Mummy says I must be a goat."
"For Christmas this year I would like a remote helicopter, motorbike or tractor. I also would like 400 ducklings."
"I want lego and world peace."
"What I would like most of all is a baby sister."
"I would like a box so I can make stuff with it."
"For Christmas my mummy wants a full night's sleep."
"I know there are lots of kids out there that won't get much this Christmas so my biggest wish is for all those kids to have a happy Christmas and for you to give some of my presents to them."
"I am 8 years old. I would like a Katmandu jacket, wii, cooking stuff, a pet fish, lollies. One more thing. My older sister would love a boyfriend for Christmas. He has to be rich and hot."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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