The U.S. Postal Service will digitize letters and gift wish lists sent to Kriss Kringle so special ‘elves’ can send Christmas presents to children and families in need.
The mail agency’s program, aptly dubbed “Operation Santa,” allows children and families to write letters to Father Christmas, which will then be processed and shared online at USPSOperationSanta.com beginning Dec. 4.
According to the USPS, the campaign first started in the early 1900s when the Postal Service started receiving letters to Santa Claus.
In 1912 Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock “authorized local Postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters.”
By the 1940s, “mail volume for Santa increased so much that the Postal Service invited charitable organizations and corporations to participate by providing written responses and small gifts,” USPS detailed on its website.
In 2017, the USPS launched an online version of the program in New York. The online program expanded to 17 cities in 2019. Now, gift-givers can send presents from anywhere in the country.
“Through the years, the program grew and took on a life of its own,” USPS stated on its website. “Today, customers can go online to browse through the letters and if one touches them, they can adopt it and help the child have a magical holiday.”
While anyone can write a letter, the program was started to help families and kids in need, according to USPS.
“The mission of USPS Operation Santa is to provide a channel where people can give back and help children and families — enabling them to have a magical holiday when they otherwise might not — one letter to Santa at a time,” USPS stated on its website.
Those who’d like to mail a letter to Santa can send it in an envelope with a first-class stamp addressed to Santa Claus, at his mailing address: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888.
Letters received before Dec. 15 will be uploaded and made available for adoption, though the sooner a letter is received, the more likely it is to be answered, according to USPS.
Aspiring elves who wish to adopt a letter must go through a short registration and ID verification process before. Full instructions are available on the Operation Santa website.
USPS Operation Santa ends on Dec. 19. In order to get all gifts delivered before Christmas Day, shoppers are urged to drop off their packages at a participating Post Office location before Dec. 19. Running behind on your holiday shopping list? Worry not. You can still ship your gifts after the deadline, though they may not be delivered by Christmas Day.
For additional information, visit USPSOperationSanta.com website.