By Heather Janssen

STOCKTON (CBS13) – A Stockton 5-year-old is taking on a major mission as he waits for his Make-A-Wish dreams to come true. Santa has trusted him with a special duty to help pass the time for now.

Mateo at his letter drop-off spot.

No holiday season is complete without a Christmas carol or two. Just ask Mateo, as he sings ‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,’ he’s in tune with the holiday spirit.

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Mateo doesn’t miss a beat. Perhaps it’s why Santa personally picked him to help him out during the holidays his year. Mateo is excited about the mission.

“To get letters to Santa!” he said.

Mateo’s job on Thursday was to make sure holiday wishes, much like his own,d it safely to the big man in red. In his own letter to Santa, he asked for a new toy. But one part of his gift would be the beginning to fulfilling his dreams to become like one of his personal heroes, the mailman.

“When I hear him come, I just hurry to the window and watch him,” Mateo said. “He’s just nice to us.”

Mateo’s mission as Santa’s mailman is a small part of the Macy’s ‘Believe’ campaign, where children and adults alike can write letters to Santa. In exchange, the company donates money to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

A foundation Mateo benefits from. Over the last four years, he’s battled leukemia. At the moment, Mateo is one of many kids whose wishes cannot be granted during the pandemic.

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He’s patiently waiting for the day it may be. His dreams of being a mailman have been put on pause, but while he waits, being Santa’s mailman will have to do. His mom, Cynthia Toscano hopes special days like this may be a boost to his spirits.

“He’s had such a hard time the last few years,” she said. “I think something like this is what he really needed.”

Things like a visit from a family friend. Kari Martinelli, who used to work with Mateo’s mother, dropped by with her letter to Santa.

What she wished for is certainly relatable.

“Happiness and an end to COVID,” Martinelli said.

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Outside of the Macy’s at Sherwood Mall in Stockton, there was not a shortage of smiles. Each wave, gift and each song have been just a few of Mateo’s favorite things.

Heather Janssen