It's like the razors-in-the-apples Halloween urban legend: one bad kid-hating apple ruins it for everyone. People used to visit the post office and cheerfully respond to letters addressed to "Santa, North Pole." No more.

Reports the New York Times:

The United States Postal Service abruptly shut down public participation in all the Operation Santa programs — in New York and other major cities across the country — at 1 p.m. Wednesday, without offering post offices or letter-seeking citizens any understanding of why.

It's because a registered sex offender took a letter, and God knows what he would have written or sent as a "gift." To be sure, you could argue that he's rehabilitated, but it looks suspiciously like returning to the scene of the crime to us. Thanks for ruining Christmas for countless letter-writing needy kids!

(It'll re-open the program in New York, at least, on Saturday.)