Holiday happenings

We believe in you, USPS Operation Santa!

By Tatiana Roy

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It’s been a rough year. Have you been naughty or nice?

Last year was a difficult year for many families. Some lost loved ones to COVID-19. Others struggled to pay their bills. And many suffered loneliness and despair stuck in their homes. When we rolled out USPS Operation Santa® nationwide last December, we were unsure how it would be received. Would people be willing and able to help others? Or were families struggling to survive and unable to give?

A kid's drawing of Santa’s sleigh filled with gifts and being pulled by his reindeer flying over homes.

When the USPS Operation Santa site opened last year on December 4, we were overjoyed by the number of people who wanted to participate and adopt letters. The generosity of people all around the world truly humbled us. So many people reached out and asked how they could help. And not only did they reach out, many also asked Santa to help others.

A child’s drawing of Rudolph, Santa, an elf and themself.

Joshua wrote to Santa and thanked him for sacrificing his social life to help others. He also told Santa, “If I have to choose a gift, it would be a donation to a charity, a homeless shelter, a public library, anything is fine. Because what’s a better gift than peace and joy on earth?”

In a similar letter, Isabella asked Santa for a big favor. “I wish you can give toys to the kids in the hospital, and the ones who live on the streets.”

Seven-year-old Yasmin asked Santa if he suffered effects from COVID and if his elves were OK as well. She also said she was “very sad we were not able to attend the school all the time.”

One hundred and nine years of making dreams come true! USPS Operation Santa has been fulfilling children’s wishes since 1912.

The beauty of this program is that anyone can participate. Anyone can write a letter to Santa! On Monday, Nov. 1, Santa will start accepting letters mailed to his official workshop.

When writing a letter to Santa, please make sure to follow these few, simple rules.

Write your letter to Santa. Be specific. Alexa’s letter to Santa is a good example. Alexa gave her age and size, she requested something specific and she was cordial.

Letter to Santa with a drawing of Santa and a reindeer.

Put your letter in an envelope addressed to Santa’s workshop, as shown in the following picture.

An illustration of an envelope, addressed to: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. The writer’s return address is written clearly in the upper left corner of the envelope. The return address includes your street address, apartment numbers and street directional (if applicable), city, state and ZIP Code. A First-Class Mail postage stamp is placed in the upper right corner of the envelope.

Make sure to include your full name and return address so Santa knows where to send your gifts. We also recommend that you include your address in your letter. If you and your family live in an apartment, Santa needs to know the apartment number. He might not be as familiar with your building as you are. It’s also confusing for Santa and his reindeer when you don’t include directionals such as North or South in the street address.

Last year Santa’s elves were very sad because so many boys and girls wrote to Santa, but didn’t tell him where to send their gifts. As a result, Santa couldn’t help.

And the last thing to keep in mind: don’t forget to put a postage stamp on the envelope. The stamp will help your letter get smoothly delivered to Santa’s workshop. The stamp needs to be placed in the upper right corner of the envelope.

Child’s drawing of a unicorn, Mrs. Claus and a little girl.

The uspsOperationSanta.com website opens Monday, Nov.15, 2021, for customer registration. Before you adopt any letters, you need to sign up and have your identity (ID) verified. We have made it easier this year. We have online options. If for some reason, potential adopters are unable to verify their identity online, they can to go into any one of the 19,000 Post Office locations which offer the “Label Broker” service. Potential adopters can find qualifying Post Office locations online using the usps.com/locator tool.

On Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, the uspsOperationSanta.com site goes live for letter adoption. At this time, customers who’ve had their IDs verified can preview and adopt letters.

Letter adopters will receive all the information they need on the How to Ship a Santa Package infographic.

We have updated the list of Frequently Asked Questions to make the whole process easier for everyone involved. These FAQs can be found on the uspsOperationSanta.com website, or right here on usps.com/holidaynews.

Our goal is to have every letter sent to Santa’s workshop posted, adopted and fulfilled. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday this season.

USPS Postmaster van illustration.