The City of Noel has begun its yearly tradition of stamping Christmas cards from around the world

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NOEL, Mo. — Post offices throughout the four states are busy places this time of year, but one of them is much more so than most.

“I love Christmas, it’s the best time of year for me so I guess I’m so this is the office I should be in,” said Patricia Coggin, Noel Post Office Officer in Charge.

That office is located in Noel, Missouri, where letters from all over the country and all over the world have been receiving special stamps for a long time.

“1932 is when they started this,” said Coggin.

Envelopes that go through this post office this time of year receive four stamps, a red wreath, a green Christmas tree and a red and blue sign that bears the city’s name.

“It’s really hard when you get red ones,” said Coggin.

And there are so many letters coming in that the normal amount of staff can’t handle the extra work load this time of year.

“I do it every year for the last seven,” said Tammi Wardlaw, Post Office Volunteer.

Volunteers like Tammi Wardlaw, who lives in Noel, come in to pick up the slack.

“It’s a Christmas tradition,” said Wardlaw.

She doesn’t get paid, but there are fringe benefits, like home made Christmas cookies from the Christmas City.

“It’s kind of like the claim to fame for Noel Missouri,” said Wardlaw.

It’s the one time of year the pronunciation of the town’s name changes, at least for the out of towner’s

“And when you talk to people they usually call it No-el, and then you have to correct them, it’s like Noel but they say it’s spelled No-el,” said Wardlaw.

And each year, employees and volunteers place pins in the map of the U.S. where cards come from, just so they can get the Christmas City stamp.

“I usually always get a big box from Japan and China,” said Coggin.

And in case someone comes in and isn’t aware of the special designation, she makes sure that changes.

“I let them know about our tradition, I try to keep it going as much as I can because I don’t ever want to see it go away,” said Coggin.

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