A package for Santa? FedEx goes dashing to the snow

Times Staff Writer

Either the North Pole moved south or someone at Federal Express got confused. When David McCreery sent a Christmas note addressed to Santa Claus at the North Pole, it was delivered to Basalt, Colo.

Why Basalt? McCreery isn’t sure. Nor is the spokesperson for Federal Express or Basalt’s town administrator. Perhaps the FedEx delivery person thought the tiny town of 2,700, with its 6 feet of annual snowfall, was a suitable substitute for Santa and his crew. It’s certainly more centrally located.

McCreery admits he didn’t really expect his package to reach the big man in red. The 24-year-old Web designer from Michigan was more interested in using Federal Express’s online package-tracking system to see where his letter would end up.


“I was kind of curious if it would even leave town because for a while it didn’t show up with any tracking information at all,” said McCreery, who mailed the package Tuesday, Dec. 3.

By 6:06 that night, it had at least been picked up. By 11:21, it arrived in South Bend, Ind. On Wednesday, it surfaced at the Fed Ex sorting facility in Memphis and was flown to Denver. Finally, on Thursday, it was delivered to Basalt at 9:58 a.m.

McCreery was quick to post the results of his experiment online. Within hours, he was hearing from hundreds of people all over the world -- Finlanders insisting Santa lives in their country, Canadians suggesting that if he’d sent the same package using the Canadian postal code HO HO HO, Santa would have written him back.

Even so, McCreery has no plans to try such an experiment again. “I’ve been half curious if UPS would do a better job,” he said, “but I’m not in a rush to figure that out.”

As for whether Santa got his package, McCreery doesn’t know. He requested a signature, but that was waived.

He might get his answer Christmas morning, if the cookies he leaves out are replaced with the digital camera that he asked for.