In a German village's post office, Santa Claus is a man of letters

Father Christmas comes calling in Himmelpfort. Photo: AP

Once upon a time it was an unremarkable village in the former East Germany, with a rather misleading name: Himmelpfort, or Heaven's Gate, though there is not that much heavenly about it.

Tuesday, 18 December, 2012, 4:08am

'Dear Santa': How Hong Kong's little helpers make sure he writes back

A real Santa Claus from Finland is in town to bring festive joy to underprivileged children with special needs. Photo: Nora Tam

Nothing could be much worse at this time of year than for a young child to write to Santa Claus but get no reply back from the North Pole. The good news is in Hong Kong, this does not happen.

9 Dec 2012 - 3:59am

Finding the secrets of 'Letter Utopia'

On World Post Day on October 9, the Hongkong Post held a Free Post Day for everyone to send a letter for free. Seven junior reporters took an exclusive tour at the General Post Office, where they mailed their letters. Read some of their reflections below. Check out some further comments online.

1 Dhruv Singh, 13, YMCA of Hong Kong Christian College

19 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

Pouring your heart out

For Steve Lau Chi-fung, nothing quite beats the magic of receiving a letter in the post - one written on paper that he can keep forever and read again and again. Lau, senior manager (local mail) of Hongkong Post's product development, marketing and sales division, has been working with the organisation since 1998.

8 Oct 2010 - 12:00am

E-mail an essential invention

Nowadays, electronic mail is essential. In my view, e-mail is one of the most important inventions in human history. You can't live or work without e-mail. E-mail has a wide variety of functions. For example, I used e-mail to send this letter to the Young Post.

24 Aug 2010 - 12:00am

Post a personal letter for free

People have been invited to post a personal local letter for free on Friday, World Post Day. About 48,000 free letters were posted last year. The words 'personal letter' and the receiver's name and address must be on the front of the envelope and the sender's name and address on the back. Special posting boxes will be placed at post offices to collect the letters.

6 Oct 2009 - 12:00am

Department of Irritation

The Immigration Department pledges: 'We will treat each member of the public with respect, consideration, courtesy and compassion. We will be empathetic, appreciative of different perspectives and flexible in the application of policies to meet specific needs.'

21 Dec 2008 - 12:00am

Letters get the stamp of approval

Name: Tam Wing-pong

Occupation: Postmaster General

Star sign: Leo

On my playlist: Classical

Hobbies: Reading, listening to music and watching operas

The Man: Before I started working at the Post Office, I didn't know much about what was involved, other than being able to post a letter.

23 Oct 2008 - 12:00am

Friends around the world

Many students in Hong Kong live in their own little world. They gain knowledge from textbooks and make friends in school. But this is not enough.

To broaden our horizons, we can write letters to pen pals.

Pen friends can help us learn more about their countries and cultures.

25 Jan 2008 - 12:00am

Reviving the lost art of letter writing

A visit to the General Post Office in Central rekindled interest in the lost art of letter writing for a group of primary school students.

Thirty eight Primary Four to Six students from Pui Tak Canossian Primary School got a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the post office works.

15 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

Contest promotes lost art of letter writing

Most people will agree that it's a lovely feeling to receive a letter. Because they're handwritten, you can tell that someone has taken the time and trouble to deliver their thoughts and wishes to you personally.

With technology making such great strides, however, many of us have forgotten about this more traditional approach to staying in touch.

20 Feb 2006 - 12:00am

Write your e-mails properly

Most of us use e-mail to communicate with friends, family and workplace colleagues. But few of us pay much attention to our online manners. Some people never reply to their e-mails, while others send long, complicated messages that no one has time to read. Like any form of communication, e-mail sends a message about you. Here's how to make sure it's a positive one.

20 Feb 2006 - 12:00am

Top tips about the 10 top traps: how to avoid making a virtual nuisance of yourself

Size matters Sending large attachments is one of the worst faux pas, according to Judith Kallos, who runs www.netmanners.com. Try to compress or 'zip' files or, at least, warn the recipient beforehand.

8 Oct 2005 - 12:00am

First person

Frederick Yeung Ka-ching, 44, associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, co-ordinates the Uncle-Long-Legs Letter Box project, which over the past 11 years has provided anonymous pen friends for more than 9,000 children in need of emotional support

14 Jul 2005 - 12:00am

Writing that polite thank-you note is key in 'courting' process

THE WORST THING one can do after an interview is nothing. Doing nothing and waiting for the company to contact you is like waiting for a phone that will never ring.

Employers are accustomed to the dance that occurs during the early 'wooing period'. You must make the initial contact after your first meeting - and they expect you to.

21 May 2005 - 12:00am