Attention boys and girls of Minden, their parents, their grandparents and their teachers: your help is needed.
You see, a very troubled fella gave me a call last night. He introduced himself as Lancaster the Elf and said the North Pole was the place he hung his red and green knit pixie hat.
Apparently the postal workers at the North Pole have gone on strike. This is a most disconcerting development at this late hour so close to Christmas.
Lancaster informed me the penguins refuse to work with the polar bears (because of long ago aggrievements); and the elves maintain they are too busy making Christmas toys in Santa's workshop to take on the extra postal work.
Lancaster told me that Santa is quite troubled about not receiving any letters from the boys and girls.
"What can you do help us?" my friendly elf caller asked.
This is what I told him.
To help Santa, the Minden Press-Herald asks that letters to the Big Man in the Red Coat be channeled through the newspaper office. The paper will publish the letters in its annual holiday guide and forward them along to Santa to give him adequate time to pack the sleigh before Christmas.
Kids, we need to receive your letter no later than Tuesday, December 11.
Lancaster was so pleased with our commitment to help that he put Santa on the phone.
After giving me his thanks, Santa said, "There are now more than seven billion people in the world. That is a lot of presents. The elves and I are extremely busy up here at the North Pole."
In addition to learning what presents you want this year, Santa would also enjoy hearing what you like about Christmas and what it means to you and your family.
You may have a true story to share with Santa about a special Christmas, or you may have made up your own fictional story about Christmas. Whatever the case, Santa wants to read about it.
"It makes this busy season worth while when I read the letters children send to me," Santa said. "This is very hard work, but it is good and satisfying work when I get to see the joy in people's hearts as they enjoy the spirit of the season."
We here at the Minden Press-Herald are happy to help Santa in this hectic time of year. Putting a paper out every day is nothing compared to bringing smiles to all the little boys and girls across the globe.
Merry Christmas, kids. Be sure to get us those letters by December 11th.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. He is a two-time recipient of the Best Newspaper Column award given annually by the Louisiana Press Association.