Get those Santa letters in soon….

Written by Anna Greiner on December 7, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (Dec. 6, 2017) – Every year, millions of children write letters to Santa. When Santa can’t get to every letter, he sometimes forwards requests to helpers at the U.S Post Office through the Operation Santa program. One of the receiving areas for these letters is the Des Moines, Iowa, Post Office located on 2nd Avenue. The stacks of mail that arrive for Santa come from children across the nation.

“This is an important, long standing tradition that we are so proud to carry on,” said Traci McBee, post office volunteer and Santa letter coordinator. “The amount of letters has been decreasing in recent years – less than 500 were received last year – and we want children and their parents to know that if they write to Santa, they will receive a personal, handwritten response.”

Children who want to send a letter to Santa this year should keep these tips in mind:

  1. Mail your letter early.  Santa’s helpers will begin responding to letters this year on December 12th. Letters should be in the mail 2-4 days before that date.
  2. You don’t need a postage stamp to send a Santa letter.  Children or parents can simply address their letter to the attention of one of the following: Santa Claus or The North Pole, c/o Des Moines, IA Post Office, 1165 2nd Drop the letter in the nearest mailbox or at your local post office.
  3. If you want a response, provide your address.  Each year, Santa’s helpers are unable to respond to hundreds of letters because there is no address. Children should provide their first name (last name is not required) and complete address including the city, state and zip code.
  4. Don’t send money or candy.  Santa won’t need money or candy. And, bulky items could damage the post office machines and are messy if they get crushed.

The Postal Service began receiving letters addressed to Santa Claus more than 105 years ago. In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to let employees and citizens respond to these letters. That program later became known as Operation Santa. Today, fewer than 15 post offices across the country participate in the program.

“We hope parents and grandparents will remember that although there are a lot of ways to connect with Santa, nothing can replace the impact of a personalized, hand written letter” said McBee.