The elves at the U.S. Postal Service are working overtime, ensuring children’s letters to Santa Claus make it in time for the big day.
That also means the USPS’s Operation Santa wish fulfillment program is in full swing.
What Is Operation Santa?
Every year, USPS Operation Santa receives thousands of letters from children and their families asking for help with their Christmas wish lists.
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USPS employees review the letters for potential “adoption” by anonymous gift-givers. The letters that are chosen will be published to the USPS website. Then, the adopters can choose a letter and fulfill the children’s and/or family's wishes by purchasing and sending the gifts directly to the child’s home.
How Do I Participate In Operation Santa?
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Anyone who wants to participate in the program should write a letter to Santa, place it in an envelope with a stamp and send it to the USPS Operation Santa workshop. Address the letter to Santa Claus. The address is 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. Letters are due on Monday, Dec. 12, 2022.
Here are some helpful tips on writing the letter:
- Write legibly
- Include your full name and address in the letter
- List the gifts you want in order of preference
- Be clear on specific asks, such as sizes, styles, colors, titles and names
- Don’t forget a return address on both the letter and the envelope
- Make sure the envelope is addressed correctly
- Include postage
Once the postal elves receive the letter, it will be uploaded to the USPS website for adoption. The letters are read online by potential adopters, who can choose which children or families to help.
The writer’s personal information is redacted, including their address. Instead, a QR code is sent to the adopter's email address, which they will take to the post office when the gift is ready to ship.
How Can I Help With Operation Santa?
Here's how you can help Santa fulfill the hopeful requests of children and families this year.
- Create an account and get verified, then read the letters and adopt one you love
- Find the perfect gift and ship it from a participating Post Office location
- Your package will arrive straight from Santa himself and wow its recipient
- Mail packages by December 19 so they’re delivered by Christmas
When Did Operation Santa Start?
The USPS Operation Santa began 100 years ago in 1912 when Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock created Santa's first mailroom. He authorized local postmasters to have employees read and respond to the letters.
In the 1940s, letters really started pouring in and the program was opened to the general public.
In 2017, Operation Santa went online, which allowed more people to get involved and expanded to anyone in the United States in 2019.
In 2020, Operation Santa hit the silver screen with its own documentary, "Dear Santa."