I feel like the Christmas season is starting earlier each year, and lately even I can’t help being caught up in it. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and my boys have already met Santa twice, already sent off their lists and have even received a visit from the Head of the North Pole Behavior Analysis Department – and elf named Jangle who loves to leave candy canes behind. I used to be frustrated by the early start, but I’m learning to enjoy it. There’s so much we love about the Christmas Season, why not celebrate it a little longer? Now that the boys have sent letters to Santa it’s time to think about the letters they’ll get back. We’ve tried buying letters online in the past and frankly it’s been a little hit or miss. We’ve gotten some great letters, and some that are so poorly printed the kids never even saw them. For the last couple of years I’ve been sending their Santa letters myself. I made some Santa Letter Templates, complete with official looking letterhead to write their letters from Santa on. The I rely heavily on the USPS and their Letters From Santa program to help me deliver the letters in a way that erases doubt from the minds of even my most skeptical child.
Letters From Santa with USPS allows your child to write a letter to Santa and receive one back in the mail officially postmarked from the North Pole! Not only is this so exciting for little ones, it’s also a great way to keep kids believing when they see that official North Pole Postmark. I’m always a little bit afraid that they will stop doing it one year, but so far USPS has come through every single Christmas – including this one! I couldn’t wait for the official press release, which will be available on the 23rd, so I contacted USPS to get some tips on using the program. All you need to participate is a letter, some envelopes and some stamps. If you’re looking for any extra information on how to go about posting for different letters or packages, maybe take a look into something like this article on “Snail Mail 101: How Many Stamps Do You Need?” or elsewhere depending on what information you’re needing regarding postal services to get your letter from Santa this year!
Here are the official USPS instructions:
- Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.
- Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response.
- Insert the response letter into an envelope and address it to the child.
- Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.
- Ensure the envelope is affixed with a First-Class Mail stamp, such as a recently issued Charlie Brown Christmas stamp.
- Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope – preferably a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope – with appropriate postage, and address it to:
North Pole Postmark
4141 Postmark Drive
Anchorage, AK 99530-9998
Send your envelope off and before long Santa’s response will arrive in the mail, addressed to your child and bearing a legitimate North Pole Postmark! We have done this for years and it is always a huge hit with the boys. As J gets older and more skeptical it is one of our traditions that really keeps him believing.
The only catch is that letters must be received by the Anchorage, Alaska Postmaster no later than December 15th!
The United States Postal Service also offers these tips to make the experience more fun:
- To save paper, write on the back of your child’s letter. If you keep them together, your child will also be able to recall what he or she wrote.
- When responding as Santa, make the response as personal as possible by highlighting your child’s accomplishments over the past year. For example, helping around the house, receiving good grades in a particular subject at school or participating in community service activities.
- This is a great activity for Thanksgiving that the whole family can enjoy, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other caregivers.
And USPS encourages parents to upload photos of their letters and experiences with the hashtag #LettersFromSanta on social media!
If you can’t wait to have your child receive their own letter head over to my Free Santa Letter Templates, follow the instructions to create your very own letter and get it in the mail before December 15th!
What’s on the top of your child’s list this year?