Supply chains are backed up, toy shelves are becoming bare, and snail-mail shows no sign of speeding up as the holiday season comes rushing in. One Dartmouth man, though, has cranked his holiday spirit up to 11 by giving kids direct contact to the North Pole, thanks to his special mailbox dedicated to letters from Santa.

Pete Lantz has always been a lover of the holidays. Even before his children were around, Lantz loved to string up lights and trim the tree to celebrate the special time of year. While he always goes above and beyond with holiday decorations, the spirit of giving seems to be the real reason Lantz loves this time of year.

“I am a fourth-generation Marine, and my company has been donating to Toys for Tots for well over a decade,” Lantz said. He is the reason why the Greater New Bedford Marine Corp is flourishing. The league was formed in the ’50s but fizzled out over the years. In 2012, Lantz filled out the corporate documents to reinstate the league, and the league has been active and thriving ever since.

Lantz still wanted to do more.

“My daughter is eight this year and loves Santa, so I wanted to do something a little more special,” he said.

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With the help of his family, Lantz built “The Elf Overnight Express," a special mailbox dedicated to letters for Santa that would be magically sent to the North Pole each night, allowing these important letters to avoid any traffic.

“My father-in-law worked at (Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech) for 30 years and he’s just a wizard when it comes to creating stuff,” Lantz said. With some PVC pipe, LEDs, and some elbow grease, the magical mailbox came to life, and Lantz can’t wait for families to use it.

The magic mailbox at 142 Russells Mills Road in Dartmouth will be available Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. until Christmas. The Lantz family will also be accepting new and unwrapped toys to be given to Toys for Tots.

The spirit of Christmas is alive and well on Russells Mills Road thanks to Santa’s generous helper.

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