Nov. 20, 2023

USPS Operation Santa Letter Adoption Now Open

Program Begins Before Black Friday for First Time

Santa's Helper

WASHINGTON, DC — Are you interested in sending children and families some holiday magic this season? You can now adopt a letter written to Santa by going to In response to customer requests, this is the first time the U.S. Postal Service has opened the program before Black Friday.

USPS Operation Santa turns 111 years old this year. The program relies solely on random acts of kindness and the generosity of strangers. It allows people to help children and families have a magical holiday when they otherwise might not — safely and securely. USPS Operation Santa is not a guaranteed gift-giving program.

Since Sept. 18, the Postal Service has received letters from across the country and has been delivering them to Santa’s U.S. workshop at 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888. Letters sent with First-Class Mail postage and complete, accurate and legible return addresses have been opened, reviewed and posted on People can begin reading and adopting letters today.

Instructions for Letter Adopters

  • If potential adopters are unable to complete their ID verification online, they will be provided with a code and given instructions on how to complete verification in person at a local Post Office.
  • Once verified, the adopter will receive a welcome email with detailed information on how to participate in the program.
  • Potential adopters can read letters and choose one or more to fulfill. Once a letter is chosen, adopters must follow the directions they were sent in their welcome email to ship gifts.
  • Packages must be shipped via Priority Mail service, but gifts do not need to be in Priority Mail-branded boxes.
  • Letter adopters are responsible for postage fees to ship the gift packages.

Tips for Reducing Shipping Costs

Postage to ship packages is based on size, weight and distance. Here are some tips to lower costs:

  • Use Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes, free at your local Post Office. Take a box with you when shopping and only purchase items that can fit in the box.
  • Adopt a letter from your state or a nearby state.
  • Pay careful attention to the dimensions of the gift — especially the size and weight. Shipping heavy, oversized packages can be expensive.
  • Consider a gift card instead of purchasing larger, heavier items. Gift cards need to be sent in a Priority Mail envelope, 4 inches by 6 inches or larger, to accommodate the shipping label.

Important Dates

  • Sept. 18: Postal Service began accepting letters to Santa.  
  • Nov. 6: Registration for letter adopters opened.
  • Nov. 20: Letter adoption opens.
  • Dec. 11: Last day to send letters to Santa.
  • Dec. 18: Last day to adopt letters and the recommended date to ship packages.

Accept No Imitations

There is only one USPS Operation Santa program, sanctioned by the U.S. Postal Service. Fulfilling wishes through the official Postal Service program is voluntary, and any organization asking for money to adopt letters is in violation of the laws under which the Postal Service operates and is not condoned by or affiliated with the Postal Service.

For more information, visit



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