It’s a busy time at the post office of a southwest Missouri town of about 1,400 people. Postmaster Jim Hight pronounces it “nole,” but the postmark so much in demand at this time of near says “Noel.” They’re spelled the same way. About 70 years ago, the postmaster in Nole came up with the idea of a special Chrsitmas postmark. Radio entertainer Kate Smith started promoting the town’s efforts on her programs in the 1940s. Each year the post office gets bundles of Christmas cards from throughout the world from people wanting the special postmark from Missouri’s Christmas City in the Ozark Vacation Land. Hight says some days are busier than ever, but the workload tails off in the last few days before Christmas. He’s had about 40 volunteers processing those letters. More than 40,000 letters from 41 states and several foreign countries have been cancelled.
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