Welcome to Santa's FAQ Page on
We get so many great questions from children of all ages
around the world that we decided to compile some of them here. We
have three sections at present:
Who is Santa Claus?
Santa Claus has a variety of
different names in different languages, but they all refer to the
person of St. Nicholas who was born many centuries ago in the 4th
century (born c 245 AD, and died c350 AD, various sources list
various dates) in Lycia, Anatolia, a province on the southwest coast
of Asia Minor (present day Turkey). He was born in Patara, a seaport,
and traveled. St. Nicholas became a bishop of the church at Myra. Few
documents exist which mention him, however legends of his generosity
exist throughout most churches. Thousands of churches in the Middle
Ages were dedicated to him.
St. Nicholas performed a number of
miracles, all associated with gift giving. His feast day was December
6, so think of St. Nicholas on December 6th and December
In 1823, Clement C. Moore (see
below) wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas', which showed Santa Claus
driving a sleight drawn by "eight tiny reindeer" and in doing so he
created an image we all have today. Thomas Nast (see below) drew
Santa Claus based on Moore's description cementing in this
The probable origins of various
traditions which then spread around the world:
- Gifts: St. Nicholas (gift giver)
and the Magi (the three wise men/Persian Priests from Orient
bringing gifts for Jesus) and from pagan (Roman) Saturnalia
- Reindeer: Reindeer are from the
north (e.g. Finland) and they are cute, Santa needed
- Chimney: St. Nicholas legend
(see below). Also, in England and the United states Santa comes
secretly and so the entrance must be secret and easy to use
without the help of adults. In Germany and Scandinavia often Santa
comes through the door.
- North Pole: America's Father
Christmas dwells there, it is a winter festival, Santa Claus
needed somewhere to live
- Hat: Bishops mitre of St.
Nicholas, the headgear of the Magi, and perhaps the Phrygian
headgear of the French Revolution.
- Beard: St. Nicholas, the Magi
are bearded, white because of age.
- Costume: Cloak from St.
Nicholas, and perhaps the Magi. The fur probably added to fit the
- Sock: Hung by the chimney to dry
and they make a good repository for presents.
- Candles (and now lights)
symbolize or were part of: Paradise, end of the days getting
shorter, warmth, summer, Jewish Hanukkah, festiveness, keeping the
darkness at bay
- Holly: Christ's crown of thorns
- Gnomes: Pagan (some
- Straw: Stable and crib, readily
- Christmas Crib: Jesus' stable in
Bethlehem. Legend says it was started by St. Franciscus of
- Red, Green, and White colors:
Green came from evergreen trees (e.g. balsam, fir, holly etc.),
red from holly berries, red and white also from the Bishop's mitre
and cape worn in religious ceremonies by St. Nicholas, white from
the snow seen on evergreen's during the holiday season, white from
St. Nicholas's beard, and white from the light of the Star seen
over the stable. Red may also have come from pagan ceremonies.
[asked by Matt]
- Cookies and milk being left out
for Santa Claus: the modern Christmas tree tradition came from
western Germany, from a medieval custom, as a paradise tree -- a
tree decorated with apples, wafers and/or cookies. When the
"paradise tree" merged with Christianity and became part of the
Christmas celebration cookies and wafers were still part of the
decorations. As time passed Santa would often snack on a
decoration (to keep in shape!). Children (and perhaps parents)
noticed that there were decorations that had been snacked on
(although in old times the snacking was done by mice too) and so
began leaving them out on plates by the fire -- partially to keep
them close to Santa's entrance and partially to keep the mice
away. Homes that did not use wafers or cookies thought it would be
nice to leave out something for me to munch on too after hearing
stories from other families about how much Santa enjoyed their
cookies. Eventually fewer and fewer people decorated the tree with
food but wanted to keep up the tradition of leaving something for
Santa Claus. Eventually the origin was lost to common knowledge,
but we have included it with the FAQ now. As for the milk, it was
only natural that people would be considerate enough to leave milk
with the cookies!
- Why is Santa 'heavy'? Well, if
you read the information about the cookies and milk above you'll
see why Santa used to be shown as thinner than he is now -- not
everyone used to leave out cookies for him!
What is a legend of St.
There are many legends of St.
Nicholas, but this is the most famous legend and it includes elements
of today's Santa:
A nobleman who lived with his three
daughters had fallen on hard times. The daughters had no chance of
marriage, since their father could not pay their dowries.
One night, St. Nicholas threw a sack
of gold through a window of the nobleman's shabby castle, which was
enough for one daughter's marriage. The next night, he tossed another
sack of gold through the window for the second daughter.
But on the third night, the window
was closed. So, St. Nicholas climbed onto the roof and dropped the
sack down the chimney. The next morning, the daughters found the gold
in the stockings they had hung to dry by the fireplace.
Hence leaving the stockings out for
What other names is Santa Claus or
Father Christmas known by?
- Weihnachtsmann in Germany for
- Kris Kringle from the southern
Germany Christkindle, meaning "Christ child." This mutated in some
areas of the world into a name for Santa
- Pere Noel in
- Papa Noel in many Spanish
- Sinter Claus (or Sinterklaas,
Sinte Klaas) in the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam (now New York
- Other variations of his name
range from Sant Nikolaas to Sante Klaas
- The Italian Befana is a similar
figure as is Russia's grandmotherly
- Denmark he's called "Julemanden"
- Joulupukki ("Yule Buck"),
evolved from the "Christmas Goat" used to frighten children in
Finland. Korvatunturi (Mount Ear, near Polar Circle) is often
portrayed as his home. The children see Santa and he asks if they
have been good.
- Nicholas of
- Nicholas of
What is Mrs. Claus' first
Mrs. Claus' full name is Jessica
Mary Claus. Her mother picked her middle name after the mother of
Is St. Nicholas patron saint of
Yes! Saint Nicholas is the patron
saint of Russia, of children, and of sailors. He also has been patron
saint of Moscow, Greece, prisoners, bakers, pawnbrokers, shopkeepers
What Books have been written about
- In 1823, Clement C. Moore wrote
"A Visit from St. Nicholas', which showed Santa Claus driving a
sleight drawn by "eight tiny reindeer."
- See our
books page for
books relating to Christmas.
- Thomas Nast was the first artist
to draw Santa Claus as a fat, jolly, white-whiskered old
- Washington Irving also wrote
about Santa Claus.
What Historical Books have been
- Ebon, Martin, St. Nicholas: Life
- Farmer, David, The Oxford
Dictionary of Saints, 2d ed. (1978; repr.
- Jones, Charles W., Saint
Nicholas of Myra, Bari and Manhattan: Biography of a Legend (1978;
Who is Thomas
Thomas Nast was the first artist to
draw Santa Claus as a fat, jolly, white-whiskered old man. He was
born September 27, 1840 in Landau, Baden, Germany and died December
7, 1902 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He was an American cartoonist after
arriving in the United States at the age of six. He was a political
cartoonist who happened to create one of the most popular images of
Santa Claus. He is also noted for popularizing the Democratic party's
Why do you give gifts at
This custom has many roots. St.
Nicholas was an anonymous benefactor. The Magi gave gifts to Jesus,
and the Romans gave gifts during their holiday that coincided with
this period. Various days are used:
December 6th - in memory of St.
December 24th - Christmas
December 25th - Christmas day, the
birth of Jesus
January 1st - New Year's
January 6th - Christmas day for some
churches, the Magi/three wise men
Mistletoe is one of many species of
semiparasitic green plants and is used as part of the Christmas
celebration. Symbolizes peace, kisses. Sacred symbol of ancient
Druids and symbol of eternal life. One tradition has it that if you
catch someone under the mistletoe you may kiss them (perhaps from
Roman custom). See the families Loranthaceae and Viscaceae for more
What is the King of Misrule?
Also known as the Abbot of Misrule,
this official managed the Christmas festivities held at the late
medieval and early Tudor court and in the houses of great noblemen.
The official served anywhere from 12 days to 3 months and arranged
all the festivities and entertainment. Scotland's counterpart was the
"Abbot of Unreason". This tradition as ended in
What is a Christmas
A Christmas card is a greeting card
often send by mail or electronic mail (email) to express Christmas
goodwill and cheer. Almost all English-speaking countries following
this tradition as do many other countries. John Callcott Horsley is
credited with designing the first card (see below) in 1843. It was
introduced to the United States in the 1870s
Tell me more about Mr.
John Callcott Horsley was born
January 29, 1817 in London, England and died October 18, 1903 also in
London. He was a painter who designed the first Christmas Card in
1843 for Sir Henry Cole who was his friend. The first edition of 1000
cards as copied and hand colored and shows a family party and with
the legend "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to
What is garland?
Garland is a chain of leaves,
flowers, or foliage often used to decorate homes at Christmas time.
There have been many other uses throughout
What is a
A wreath is essentially a garland
that is joined at both ends. There are several styles used at
different occasions. Since the 19th century it is generally made of
evergreens, holly, with pinecones and nuts. They are hung as
decorations, for example on a door in Canada, the United States, and
northern Europe. In Tudor England and during medieval times a wreath
of rosemary and bay was served over a boar. The advent wreath has
four candles and is a Christian symbol of the four Sundays preceding
Christmas. A Christmas wreath is more decorative and is generally
made of holly leaves and berries and is a custom of many countries
including particularly those listed above.
What is a Christmas
A Christmas Tree is usually a balsam
or douglas fir, and is decorated with lights and ornaments as a part
of the Christmas season. Evergreen trees and shrubbery (wreaths,
garlands) is an ancient custom dating back to the Chinese, Hebrews,
and Egyptians. Initially part of pagan Europe, tree decoration became
part of Christian tradition initially as part of the New Year
celebration in order to scare the devil away. Likewise, it was part
of a Germany custom of placing a Yule tree at an entrance to the
house as part of their midwinder holiday.
The modern Christmas tree tradition
came from western Germany, from a medieval custom, as a paradise tree
-- a tree decorated with apples, wafers (or cookies), and candles
representing the Garden of Eden, the host, and Christ. By the 19th
century it had become a deep-rooted German tradition. European
countries such as Austria, Switerland, The Netherlands, and Poland
imported the German tradition. Queen Victoria's husband, German
Prince Albert popularized the tradition in England after it had been
introduced earlier in the 19th century. German and English settlers
to North America brought the tradition there and missionaries in the
19th and 20th centuries spread the tradition to China, Japan, and
other parts of Asia.
The word itself comes from the Old
English, "Cristes maesse" which means "Christ's mass" on which
Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. It is now both a
religious and secular holiday. Romans celebrated this festival in AD
336 which coincided with a pagan Roman festival coinciding with the
Winter Solstice. It is often celebrated December 25, but a few
churches celebrate it January 6th. It is traditionally a celebration
of family and children.
English: Christmas, Yule,
Christmas -- traditionally has been
celebrated during a prolonged period from December 24 to January
What is Christmas
Derived from the traditional
birthday of Jesus. Near the shortest day of the year (the Winter
Solstice) an important pagan and solar feasting period in Europe.
Fixed by the church near the old Roman Saturnalia festival (December
17-21). The first mention of the birthday is from the year 354.
Gradually most Christian churches adopted this day, except Armenians
who celebrate 6th January which date for other Churches is the
baptismal day of Jesus and the day of the three
What is a
A song, generally of religious joy.
The earliest known Christmas songs date from the 4th century; "Jesus
refulsit omnium by St. Hilary of Poitiers" is the oldest. Songs were
created in the Catholic Church and many other places. Early songs
were religious and in latin. Music by Handel and Mendelssohn was
adapted and used as Christmas carols. The most famous of all, Silent
Night (Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht) was written by the Austrian
parish priest Joseph Mohr and composed by Franz Gruber, church
organist, in 1818.
Why a Star?
phenomenon that triggered the journey of the Magi to find and give
presents to the Christ child, Jesus. Perhaps a supernova, a
conjunction of planets, or a miracle which occurred around 7 BC, the
most probably birth year of Christ. Often placed at the top of the
What is a Magi?
From the old Persian language, a
priest of Zoroaster (Zarathustra). The Bible states they came from
the East and were from Persia (today, Iran). Balthasar, Melchior,
What is Advent?
It is a period of preparation for
the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas. Advent
begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th - St. Andrew's Day -
and is the beginning of the church year. Popular traditions are
Advent Candles and Advent Calendars (often colorful children's
calendars with a door for each day in December). Advent is from the
Latin "adventus" meaning "coming," as in the coming of Christ's
Who is Charles
Dickens is one of the greatest
English novelists. He was born February 7, 1812 (Charles John Huffman
Dickens) in Portsmouth, Hampshire. In 1843 he wrote A Christmas
Carol, creating a Christmas myth.
Other stories: Oliver Twist, David
Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, The Pickwick
What does Santa do when a house does
not have a chimney or there is a fire burning in the fire
Santa likes to keep a few things
secret so he can always surprise the kids he is visiting -- all he
will say to this question is that he uses a little magic but he
*always* finds a way!
Does Rudolph always lead the
Rudolph is almost always the lead
reindeer thanks to his wonderful bright nose!
How do the reindeer
A long time ago Santa and his
helpers discovered magical oats and corn-- when the reindeer eat the
oats and corn the deer become able to fly and leap high into the
What kind of computer does Santa
Santa uses Apple Macintosh computers
-- this site is supported using three Power PC machines (PowerMac
8600/300, PowerMac 7500, PowerMac 7100, and a PowerMac 6100) and a
Quadra 700, Centris 650 and IIci.
Why can't I ever see Santa or his
Santa and the elves are magical and
move very quickly. Sometimes, if you are very good, you *might* catch
a glimpse of an elf!
How do I become an
The best way is to do well in school
and be good. Then, who knows...
How does Santa's sleigh make it
around the world in one day?
Through a combination of lots of
practice and hard work, judicious use of time zones, and a little
magic, Santa and the reindeer always make it in
How does Santa know whether I have
been naughty or nice?
Santa maintains his naughty and nice
list (now computerized, by the way), with the help of all the elves
who keep track of each person -- you probably aren't even aware they
are around you, but elves have a special way of keeping an eye on
you. Sometimes if you look quickly enough you *might* catch one
peering in a window or around a corner, but you would have to be very
fast and very good!
What kind of snack does Santa like
left out for him?
Santa loves cookies, of course, but
he is always happy to try anything you think he might like -- pick
your favorite kind of cookie or snack and Santa and the reindeer will
be happy! The reindeer love carrots and lettuce best, of
How many reindeer are in the north
Besides the reindeer that pull the
sleigh, there are lots of other reindeer that live in the North Pole
-- too many for even Santa to count or keep track of these
What are the names of Santa's
The reindeer that pull the sleigh
are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder (or Donner,
he likes both since some of the small reindeer have trouble saying
'Donder'), Blitzen, and of course -- Rudolph. There are many other
reindeer who live at the North Pole but there is not room to list
What do Santa and Mrs. Claus do
during the spring and summer?
Santa and Mrs. Claus take a vacation
after the holiday season. They like to see different parts of the
world. Last summer they visited New Zealand, part of Europe, and the
Why doesn't Santa always bring me
what I asked for?
Thanks to the elves and your gift
lists, Santa usually knows what presents you would like to receive.
However, sometimes Santa also knows that your parents, family, or
guardians have other special things in mind. Also, Santa does not
like to bring gifts that he knows your parents etc. would prefer you
not to have -- such as a horse, or a space shuttle, or other gifts
that would not be appropriate.
Why does Santa Claus climb down the
Santa first began climbing down the
chimney for Dutch children. Similarly, the switches he leaves for
naughty children originated with the Dutch. His red suit trimmed with
white fur originated from the bishop's mitre and cape worn by the
What are some songs written about
Santa Claus, Jesus, and Christmas?
- `Messiah' by George Frideric
- Here Comes Santa
- Irving Berlin's White
- "Silent Night, Holy Night" --
composed in Austria by Franz Gruber in the 19th
- The First
- Hark, the Herald Angels
- Away in a
- O Little Town of
What is a "White Christmas"?
A "white Christmas" refers to the
snow that is one of the features associated with the holiday season
in many areas.
Why don't you come every day of the
Well, for a couple of reasons.
First, we (Santa and the Reindeer) come on Christmas eve to celebrate
Christmas -- the birthday of Jesus. Second, it takes a whole year to
get everything ready for just one very special night for all the good
children around the world. Third, only having Christmas once each
year makes it very special. [asked by Colleen from Mr. Anders'
first grade class at Blue Creek School in Latham, New
Do you have a red-nosed reindeer?
Oh yes, Rudolph has a red nose and
is often the leader of the team. [asked by Billy from Mr. Anders'
first grade class at Blue Creek School in Latham, New
Is there a real Rudolph?
Yes, Rudolph is one of our favorite
reindeer since he is so helpful when there is fog or other inclimate
weather on Christmas Eve. [asked by Nick from Mr. Anders' first
grade class at Blue Creek School in Latham, New
How many cookies do you eat?
Lots and lots. I'm not sure if I can
count high enough, but I eat a lot of cookies even though Mrs. Claus
says to cut back on the number. Last year I ate so many I felt a
little sick because of the sheer number of them, so this year I may
eat a little less at each home. [asked by Eric from Mr. Anders'
first grade class at Blue Creek School in Latham, New
How do you get a computer?
Snowy Elf researched which computers
suited our needs the best and told Mrs. Claus. Mrs. Claus then got
them for Santa as a Christmas present. [asked by Joey from Mr.
Anders' first grade class at Blue Creek School in Latham, New
How many kids do you deliver to?
We delivery to millions and millions
of good children around the world who believe in Santa Claus -- the
number changes every year because there are always children being
born. [asked by Gregory from Mr. Anders' first grade class at
Blue Creek School in Latham, New York]
Why is Rudolph's nose so bright?
His nose is so bright because he was
touched by Christmas magic which made his nose so red and shiny.
[asked by Gregory from Mr. Anders' first grade class at Blue
Creek School in Latham, New York]
Has Santa ever missed a year?
No, Santa Claus has not missed a
Christmas yet. At the North Pole we take many precautions so that
nothing can go wrong on Christmas Eve. After so many years of
practice we have plans for everything. There have been some close
calls as you may see on television, but everyone here loves Christmas
so much that we all work extra hard to make sure that Christmas is as
fun as it is supposed to be.
Do you get the flu?
Occasionally some of us get the flu,
but we almost always get flu shots to avoid getting sick. Even the
flu wouldn't stop us from our Christmas deliveries though.
[Fletch, Sea Girt, NJ]
What kind of milk should I leave
Occasionally kids ask if Santa is
lactose intolerant so they know what kind of milk to leave out, and
the answer is that "no," Santa likes all kinds of milk and has no
intolerances, so any types are fine and greatly appreciated! The only
type of milk Santa will probably not drink is buttermilk, although he
will use it in cakes.
Mrs. Claus prefers me to drink cold
fat free (aka skim) milk, because of the health benefits; however I
like to drink all the kinds of milk listed except buttermilk.
How many toys do you make in one
day? 100? 40? 90? 50? (Asked by Robert in Mrs. Graves' second grade
class at Montessori Episcopal School at Lewisville, Texas.)
The only correct answer though, is
that it depends. Some toys such as a set of wooden blocks takes much
less time than a more complex toy such as a truck or car so the elves
who make complex toys tend to make fewer per day than the elves who
work on other toys. The real important point is that each toy is made
and given with lots of love!
How old is Santa, and when is
Well, lets just say that Santa
stopped counting at 550 and leave it at that! There have been plenty
of Christmas nights where I've done my part and plenty more to
Does Santa think there will be snow
Christmas Eve? Does Santa have any kind of weather forecasting
service he uses, or does he just hope for snow?
I think that there could easily be
snow in many areas, but very far in advance it is very hard to
predict what the weather is going to be like on Christmas Eve. 1996
was a great year to make deliveries with the full moon on Christmas
Eve. It had been a very long time since I'd seen one of those on
Christmas Eve and it was beautiful. As for weather services, the
elves here tend to do a pretty good job as we get closer to the big
day, but we do tend to check out the local weather forecasts before
the big trip.
Does Santa really need snow to make
his Christmas deliveries?
No, Santa does not need snow
everywhere to make deliveries. As long as there is snow somewhere in
the world (and there always is) the deliveries will go through! After
all Santa delivers to Florida, California, parts of Europe, Asia,
Central America, South America, Africa and other areas that have no
snow. However, snow always makes it much more beautiful and I always
love seeing the holiday lights and homes nestled in the
Why does Santa Claus deliver
presents on Christmas Eve instead of some other
The simple reason is that if we
didn't deliver on Christmas Eve then the presents wouldn't be waiting
for everyone on Christmas morning! Going back in time further, the
Magi brought presents for the Christ child and people continued the
tradition of giving gifts on Christmas Eve so that they would be
there Christmas morning. [Grady]
What about other Christmas
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole
Christmas! was written in 1957 by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) You can
see the Grinch
at this address. A
is available from this
page. You can
Yahoo on Dr. Seuss by clicking here.
Frosty the Snowman was written in
1950 as the subject of a phonograph record. The words and music are
copyright Warner/Chappell Music Inc. We can not put it online due to
copyright restrictions, however, another site has
the Snowman's song is
here. (it may not
be there for long). A book copy
is available from this
What is the "Ignore Junk" on some of
Santa's (and other people's) Web pages?
As you probably know, there are
people out there on the Internet who send spam (unsolicited email,
some nasty). In fact they send lots of it to Santa Claus (yes, they
will indeed just get coal in their stockings). The "ignore junk" is
essentially "spammer bait". It generates bogus email addresses for
the spammers to harvest to send spam to. Giving them bogus ones
discourages them from harvesting email addresses using that method in
the future. [asked by quite a few people]
When did Santa get a web
Santa got a web site at his own
domain in 1994 (http://www.santaclaus.com/), the first Santa specific
web site domain on the Internet. Santa also got an email address the
same year (email@example.com). During 1994, 1995, 1996 we had
close to 50 million people look at the web site and write to Santa.
1997 was an even better year with 1998 looking to improve even more.
Why did Santa get a web
Santa had some friends who
recommended that he look at the great new technology to help spread
the Christmas spirit, talk kids of all ages around the world, and
generally help people around the world use technology to enjoy the
Does Santa like children to write to
him from the website? If so, does Santa always respond to the
Either Santa or one of the elves
always responds to all the email that comes in. Occasionally one of
the cats, dogs, or reindeer sneaks in and answers some of the mail to
help too. Some children have written to let me know that the animals
were using the computer even when they are not supposed to be --
which always gives me a great laugh.
Unfortunately, sometimes (about 3%
of the time in 1996 and 1997) the reply email address is not correct.
For example, people have enterred a street address; just put "Sam123"
without the domain (e.g. "Sam123@aol.com"); written "Sam" (and
nothing else). It always helps to make sure that your email reply
address is correct. Likewise (very very rarely - 1 in a million) the
mail gets lost somewhere on the Internet for some other reason.
Remember, someone always does respond, but it could get
Does Santa's website stay online all
year? If not, when does it get taken down and when does it get put
back up online.
SantaClaus.com is online all year
long. During the off season the elves tend to help out some other
folks at www.Halloween.com,
and the like. And sometimes they help us out during the Christmas
Did Santa Claus write Linux
with the Tooth Fairy?
Well if Linus Torvalds says he was a front man
for Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, we'll back him up!
"Ok, I admit it. I was just a front-man for the real fathers of Linux,
the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus." (see http://www.linuxworld.com/story/44851.htm)
Linus is defininately on the "Good" list for 2004 in our book!
Why does some mail get blocked by
There are a number of people out there who like to send "SPAM"
(a.k.a. Unsolicited Commercial Email, some very nasty). A "blacklist"
just means that every mail server that is listed on on the list is not
permitted to send mail to mail servers that use that blacklist. The ones
we used are used by a substantial percentage of the internet audience so that if you
get a message out being on a blacklist, you can probably be sure others mail
servers are not talking
to your (e.g. your ISP's, company's or the like) mail server.
should know that Santa Claus doesn't need that type of SPAM email and
neither do his elves, but these people (on my "bad" list!) continue
to do so. In fact, we get approximately 800 to 1000 pieces of SPAM
per day (as of Fall 2001). Using these black-lists lowers that
down to a much more managable number, 15-20.
These lists work by targetting computers that are configured
incorrectly - they allow something called "mail relaying." If you got
a notice that you couldn't send mail, what it means is that your
Internet Service Provider (ISP-the company you get your electronic
mail and internet connection from), has a computer that is not
configured correctly and allows mail relaying. They need to fix their problem and then contact
the "black-list" group (see below and the groups name in the bounce message) to have
themselves removed. It is a VERY
simple fix for them, so please contact the ISP to have them address the issue. They may
not even realize they are running an open relay and, if that is the case, they will be
happy to learn of it. If they do not know how
to fix the problem, people at the sites below will be happy to help them do so.
If they will NOT fix the problem you have two choices: (1) stay with an
ISP who contributes to the problem of junk email, knowing that lots of site
block email because of that, or (2) use a different ISP. The beauty of a
blacklist is that it works automatically so there is no human bias - either a
test message can be relayed through a computer or not. What this also means is that
once a problem is corrected, it is easy to get off the list. The reverse is that improperly
configured machines are added quickly once spammers begin using them.
For more information, please look
This has a nice VERY description of
the issues: http://www.orbz.org/sender.php
And another great description of
the issues: http://mail-abuse.org/rbl/enduser.html
And a few more