Fewer children than ever before are writing letters to Santa at Christmas

Do you encourage your children to write to Santa? [Photo: Getty]

Fewer children than ever are writing letters to Father Christmas, a leading literacy charity has warned.

According to Mathew Hickey, chief executive of the Children’s Literacy Charity, the Christmas custom is being ‘taken over’ by technology.

Back in 2007, a survey revealed that a third of primary school children sent emails to Santa instead of penning letters.

“For me, being able to write a letter to Santa has a certain nostalgic feel to retaining what this time of the year is all about – which is making sure that children are able to be children”, Hickey explained. “It is about developing children who are multifaceted, who can do everything to prepare them for the future.”

Children are sending emails, not letters, to the North Pole [Photo: Getty]

He continued: “Not just being able to be prepared for the digital age, but actually being prepared to put pen to paper and use those multiple skills.”

Since 1963, the Royal Mail has inspired children to write to Father Christmas with its Letters to Santa service. And it worked a treat, as the company would receive hundreds of thousands of letters every Christmas. But in recent years, the figures have significantly dropped.

Dr Jane Medwell, a leading academic in the field of handwriting and literacy, told The Telegraph: “It’s easy to lose sight of the importance of handwriting in a digital world – but ultimately, this skill is crucial to a child’s development leading to benefits in later life as well.”

She continued, “We must work harder to support teachers and parents in fostering handwriting so that their students can thrive.”

And it seems the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are already on board, as they recently encouraged Prince George to pen a letter to Father Christmas which saw him ask for a police car.

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