Local man turns old ATM into Santa's mailbox

By Crystal Price - bio | email

ROANOKE, LA (KPLC) - We're just days away from Christmas and kids are sending their last minute letters to Santa.

But this year in Roanoke, kids have the opportunity to mail their letters in an actual mailbox specialized for Santa's letters.

"It's exciting because you get to mail it and it goes to the North Pole," says Morgan Neal.

But before this structure was a mailbox, it was used for another purpose.

"This was once an ATM we picked up in Hackberry," says Mason Lejeune, a carpenter from Roanoke. "It had got messed up in Hurricane Ike and no one could use it."

Mason Lejeune found the machine while doing construction work in Hackberry.

"I asked them what they were going to do with it and they said scrap it," says Lejeune. "I had an idea of what I'd want to do with it."

Lejeune has always been an avid collector of Christmas yard decorations.

"Each year I add a little more and a little more," says Lejeune.

As Lejeune studied the shape and fixture of the machine, he knew what direction to take this old ATM machine.

"For some reason that's the first thought that came to mind," says Lejeune. "I said it would make a nice mailbox."

Quite a few kids across southwest Louisiana have deposited their letters in recent weeks.

But the real question is, how do the letters get to Santa?

"That's a secret," says Lejeune. "The only thing I can tell the kids is that Santa gets them."

In addition to the mailbox, there are a few other notable creations in Lejeune's yard.

"We were doing some remodeling at Church's Chicken and they were going to discard an old menu board," says Lejeune. "I brought it home because I figured I could do something with it for Christmas."

"He brings back everything from work he can't throw anything away," says Debbie Lejeune, Mason's wife. "He thinks of stuff that we could never think of doing."

As Lejeune's work is not only a good recycling technique, but it also spreads the joy of Christmas in a creative kind of way.

If you would like to send your letter to Santa, the mailbox is open anytime through Christmas.

Santa's mailbox is located at 7048 Sandy Hill Road in Roanoke, Louisiana.

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