Beginning with Unites States Postal Service Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock in 1912, USPS Operation Santa has taken letters from children for Santa and brought communities together in helping to fulfill a child’s wish for Christmas for 109 years.
USPS Holiday Spokesperson Juvylynn Sevilla said today, with the help of the internet, the program has improved with post offices across the nation participating. In 2020, the USPS received 23,000 Santa letters that were submitted with around 2,500 in California alone.
“For the children, they should write their letter to Santa, telling him how their year has been and what they would like for Christmas,” she said. “Once the letter is mailed to Santa, those who want to provide gifts for children in need can adopt letters until Dec. 22.”
Sevilla said each year there are many participants and that once a letter is displayed on the USPS website, a gift giver participant must be identified for the children’s safety.
“Once verified, you can adopt a letter, but once a letter has been posted, it goes very quickly, so when you see a letter that you like, you should grab it immediately because it will leave quickly. We have such a wonderfully positive response to this program,” she said.
Along with individuals, businesses and organizations are encouraged to get into “the spirit of giving” by forming teams to adopt letters. Letters are posted to the website twice a day and this year the program added a countdown clock so participants know when new letters will be posted and available for selection.
“This is the time of the year to give wholeheartedly, and people want to give as much as they can to someone who is in need or just asking for a simple token of a gift, so do not be on the fence about participating in this program,” said Sevilla. “It does not take much for a person to give the gift of a smile on a child’s face during the holidays. This should be a natural thing for people to want to do if they are able.”
Registered adopters should visit USPSOperationSanta.com, read through the letters and pick one or more wishes that they would like to make come true. Once the letters are chosen, adopters must follow the directions they received in their welcome email to make sure gifts arrive on time. Letters can be adopted through Dec. 22. Packages can be shipped until Jan. 14. To see which post offices are participating in your area visit the USPS locator tool at To see which post offices are participating in your area visit the USPS locator tool at https:// tools.usps.com/find-location. htm. Letter adopters are responsible for all costs to ship the gift packages, including appropriate postage.
USPS Operation Santa has put together a “how to” video. Visit https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=X7W_taPWYTc.
Sevilla said children should write their letters clearly, with a return address on the letter and on the top left of the envelope and a stamp on the right top, so that it can make it to Santa’s workshop. Mail letters to 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888.