Stories of seasonal goodwill are increasingly rare these days, especially ones that involve the US postal service, Santa Claus and legendary producer Steve Albini.
So prepare to have your cold, cold hearts melted by this joyous tale. According to the Chicago Tribune, Albini (best known for his work with Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Will Oldham, Shellac, oh you get the idea) loads a van with money, clothes and toys raised each year in a charity drive and dishes them out to cash-strapped families across the city. "There's so much money that it can literally save a family's entire year," Albini told the Tribune.
So why are we telling you now? Because The Man is trying to put an end to this seasonal giving, that's why. Albini knows which families to contact because all letters in Chicago written to Santa are diverted to potential donors in the city. But a change in US policy means that these names and addresses will now be blacked out on "Dear Santa" letters, which, according to the Tribune, means that Albini and his wife, Heather Whinna, "can no longer cull through the thousands of letters that amass each winter at Chicago's post office, looking for the neediest families".
The details of why the policy has changed are a little complicated, and as they involve an alleged paedophile in Maryland, are also not really in keeping with the Christmas spirit. What it does mean is the Albini and Whinna are having to look for ways around this problem in the hope that they can keep giving at Christmas. One word guys: reindeers.