A Wallingford dad is taking his family’s Christmas tradition to homes across the country this holiday season.
Millions of kids write letters to Santa Claus. Now, delivering them is getting a whole lot easier. A Wallingford dad’s invention is about to hit store shelves.
“A child writes a letter, picture or drawing to Santa Claus,” Chris Cirri said. “Once they place it in the mailbox, it magically disappears to the North Pole.”
Cirri first had the idea for Santa’s Enchanted Mailbox years ago.
“We were trying to create another family tradition to complement the elf on the shelf tradition, and it started with my little kids at home,” he said.
Chris’ stepfather-in-law, Dave, built the mailboxes. Starting with one made of wood and cardboard, he then created a 3D printed prototype.
“He knew what he wanted to do, but didn’t know how to do it,” said David Seales. “That’s what I added to it. I made it work.”
Chris tried it out on his son.
“He put a letter in there, raised the flag and his face said it all,” Cirri said. “He was just in awe. I knew right then and there we have to move forward with this.”
So Chris, his brother-in-law Steve, and Dave secured a patent for the design. They signed a deal to mass produce the mailboxes through a toy company—Mr. Christmas.
“Steve’s a contractor, Dave is an engineer, and I work in credit cards - we looked at each other and said, ‘what are we doing here?’”
Sixteen months later, Christmas is coming early for this family this year.
“It’s coming out officially in retail in early November, but it’s for sale right now online,” Cirri said.
In the first 30 minutes, Chris said they sold 300 mailboxes on their website. It’s also on Amazon, Wayfair, and coming to the Home Shopping Network. There’s even a little bit of Connecticut in every box. Each one comes with a story about Christmas set in Wallingford.
“Even if it didn’t make a ton of money and we just broke even, the experience alone and the joy that it's brought my family and all our friends here in town, it’s been worth it,” Cirri said.
A little bit of Christmas magic—through imagination and innovation.