Santa Claus may be busy making a list and checking it twice, but he’ll still squeeze in some time to respond to the letters he receives this Christmas — if you meet his deadlines.
The U.S. Postal Service says that everyone who wants a letter back from Santa should mail their letters to the North Pole by Saturday, December 8. That way, they can get to Anchorage, Alaska, by Dec. 15 — and a postmarked reply can appear in your mailbox around Christmas. The whole thing will only cost you about $1, or the price of two stamps.
It’s part of the Postal Service’s Letters From Santa program, which aims to spread the holiday spirit and teach children snail mail skills. Here’s how to write a letter to Santa and get one back, as well as other options for communicating with the jolly old elf, this holiday season.
(Only parents should read beyond this point.)
What Santa Address in the North Pole Is Best to Use?
When your child pens his or her letter to Santa, have them address it to the North Pole. Keep it in a safe place until they’re not around.
Then, take the letter out, read it and and write a response from Santa. Sign it accordingly. Put both pieces of paper into a new envelope, addressing it to your child at your home, and add a “Santa Claus, North Pole” return address. Put a stamp on it — first class stamps currently cost $0.50 — and seal.
Once finished, put that envelope into a bigger envelope. Add more postage (another stamp should be fine depending on size and weight) and address it to North Pole Postmark, Postmaster, 4141 Postmark Drive, Anchorage, AK 99530-9998. Send it off like normal.
In a few days, start checking the mail. Your child’s personalized letter from Santa should arrive with a North Pole postmark, courtesy of the Postal Service and Santa’s helpers.
Santa Letter Templates
Need some inspiration? The Postal Service has a free Santa letter-writing kit on its website here.
You can write or type your own message on stationery that comes “from the desk of Santa.” Or you can choose one of 15 form letters that are already done for you. Just print, put your child’s name at the top of the page, and follow the instructions above.
Looking for a different design? Elf on the Shelf also offers a free printable letter from Santa on its website here.
How to Get a Letter From Santa for Less
Another option is to write to Santa at the Santa Claus Museum in Santa Claus, Indiana, which has a century-old Santa letter program. To participate, have your child address their letter to Santa Claus, P.O. Box 1, Santa Claus, IN 47579, and mail it. (This only requires one stamp, so it costs about $0.50.)
Santa and his elves will reply — but your letter must be received by Dec. 20. Last year, WISHTV reported the museum got more than 12,000 letters.
How to Email Santa for Free
Your kids can still send their wish lists to Santa even if they missed the deadline. On aletter4santa.com, your child can get an instant reply and check to see if their name is on the nice list.
If you make an account on NorthPole.com, your child can send a digital letter to Santa and then check their virtual mailbox for his reply. According to the website, “Santa answers every letter that is sent to him, but he has so much mail it usually takes him about three days to write back to you.” In the meantime, why not read some reindeer stories?
Or stop by Macy’s website to decorate a letter to Santa with stickers, watch a cool animation and generate $1 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.