Community saves holiday postmark tradition in Rudolph - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Community saves holiday postmark tradition in Rudolph

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Every year thousands of people around the world send their Christmas cards to a tiny town in Wood County for a special reindeer postmark.

Although it was in jeopardy this year because of budget cuts, the tradition continues thanks to help from the community.

This is always the most wonderful time of the year in the Village of Rudolph, just take a look at the sign as you drive into town. It reads, "Welcome to Rudolph, the Deerest Little Village in Wood County."

This year is extra special, though.

On the corner of Rudolph and Mermill sits quite possibly the most famous post office of all.

Every year roughly 80,000 pieces of mail from all over the world come through the Rudolph Post Office in the month of December for the special reindeer station postmark.

"I can't afford to get to the North Pole so this is the next best choice," says Colin Baird who drive 15 miles from Van Buren for the holiday postmark.

Linda Arno of Grand Rapids drove in to get the special cancellation on her 70 Christmas cards. It's a trip she's made for 22 years.

"Everybody likes to see the little sticker saying it's coming from Rudolph. I think it's neat," says Arno.

Betty Quickle and her husband are from Tiffin. They're sending a special letter as a surprise to their seven year old granddaughter.

"We both feel like little elves," says Quickle.

"It's a tradition," says Charlotte Lamb, the postmaster in Rudolph.

Lamb says it's a tradition that almost died this year.

The US Postal Service kept the tiny post office open in the middle of big budget cuts. However, leaders cut it down to one office employee and one carrier.

After that, Lamb said the reindeer station postmark which has changed style every year had to end.

"Because I was the only one here that did the stamping," says Lamb. "I mean, the carrier helps, yes. But I couldn't run the window and do the stamping at the same time, there's just no way."

The US Postal Service did something special, though. It gave Lamb the OK to bring in volunteers during December.

People in the community stepped up with glee, including the postmaster's grandson.

"I know she needs a lot of help out here with all the mail that comes through," says David Lamb.

Mark Reddin, a judge in Bowling Green, believes the thought of losing the reindeer postmark is abominable.

"It's a tradition that's been going on since I moved out here about 28 years ago and I didn't want to see that tradition die," says Reddin.

"It is awesome. the community rallied behind our post office is what they did," says Charlotte Lamb.

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