Writing a letter to Santa is a timeless tradition. Each year countless children pour their hearts out about their greatest wishes, hopes and dreams. It is a sweet reminder of their interests and complete innocence. They can be funny or bring you to tears. One year after our beloved cat died unexpectedly, I found a note my son had written to Santa. It said,
“I just won my kat bak”
Cue ugly tears.
I remind my kids that writing a letter doesn’t guarantee that they will get what is on their list. And if they get a big gift, it is from us, not Santa. It can be sad for less fortunate kids to hear that Santa brought some kids iPads while they got socks.
This system we have set up for kids can easily backfire. Last year the boys put x-boxes on their Christmas lists, but very kindly told us not to worry… they knew they were too expensive for us so they were asking Santa to bring them. Doh! They were genuinely proud of their thoughtfulness. This year they are just worried that Santa is going to get Covid.
Just to make life easier, I will add a letter template that you can print and your child can fill in the blanks. Click here for a printable PDF.
There are loads of ways to mail letters to Santa. You can buy your own mailbox. This Magnolia home mailbox from Target is adorable.
If you live near a Macy’s, they have a big Christmas set up. This is where we usually go because it is so festive and they love putting their letters in the big red mail box. Macy’s also donates to Make a Wish Foundation for every letter they receive. Click here for more info. We usually combine this with pictures with Santa, but who knows what that will look like this year!
Did you know that you could bring Santa mail to your local post office? They have two really fun ways of dealing with the mail. The first will give your child a response with a post mark from the North Pole!
Here are instructions direct from USPS:
How to get a letter postmarked from the North Pole:
- Have the child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.
- Write a personalized response to the child’s letter and sign it “From Santa.”
- Insert both letters into an envelope, and address it to the child.
- Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.
- Ensure a First-Class Mail stamp is affixed to the envelope.
- Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope, with appropriate postage, and address it to:NORTH POLE POSTMARK
4141 POSTMARK DR
ANCHORAGE AK 99530-9998
USPS recommends sending your letters by December 7 so that they can be received by the Anchorage, AK, Postmaster no later than December 14. Santa’s helpers in Anchorage, AK, will take care of the rest!
USPS Operation Santa
Since the post office gets millions of letters to Santa, they recently turned to the public to help not only deal with the mail but also help make some of the children’s Christmas wishes come true. Members of the public can “adopt” a letter to help a child or family have a happy holiday when they otherwise might not. Visit Operation Santa to see the letters and if one of them touches you, you can respond.
If you know of a family that needs help adding some magic to their Christmas, here are the instructions for mailing a request to Operation Santa.
How to send letters to Operation Santa:
- Santa’s mailing address should be placed in the middle of the envelope. Letters can be addressed simply to SANTA CLAUS, but we prefer his official Postal Service address:
123 ELF ROAD
NORTH POLE 88888
- Write your full name and address in the upper left corner.
- Then, apply a first-class stamp in the upper right.
For letter writers: Letters requesting clothes and shoes should include sizes and colors. Letters requesting toys, games and books should be specific.
These letters will populate the USPSOperationSanta.com website, which opens for letter adoption on Friday, Dec. 4.
Letters received before Dec. 15 will be uploaded and made available for adoption, though the sooner your letter is received, the more likely it is to be answered. More details for writing letters to the USPS Operation Santa program can be found on the USPSOperationSanta.com website.
Do your kids write letters to Santa? Tell us all about your traditions in the comments below!