In addition to the wonderful, heartwarming tradition of letters to Santa, it is possible for parents to obtain the North Pole postmark on a letter from Santa. If you know a child that would like to receive a letter back from Santa, you can write a letter to your child and sign it from Santa. Place this letter into an envelope addressed to your child with the return address from SANTA, NORTH POLE. Make sure you have a First-Class stamp affixed to the envelope. Take that envelope and put it into a larger envelope, with appropriate postage, and address the larger envelope:
NORTH POLE HOLIDAY CANCELLATION
By all accounts, the Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago. In 1912, Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock first allowed local postmasters to give postal employees and citizens the opportunity to respond to the letters in the program that became known as Operation Santa. In 1940, the amount of mail for Santa was so large the Postal Service invited charitable organizations and corporations to participate in providing written responses to the letters and small gifts to the kids who wrote them.
Since that time, the program has taken on a life of its own. Post Offices in cities all across the country today allow major corporations, charities, local businesses and individuals to "adopt" letters to Santa to make children's holiday dreams come true.
This program has always been completely voluntary. If a Post Office chooses to participate, they must follow the established guidelines which have been enacted to protect the identities of both the children and their families as well as the volunteers. The guidelines are somewhat labor intensive and due to shrinking resources, many Post Offices have opted out of participating. The Postal Service doesn't receive tax funds for operations, further pressuring many Post Offices to make some difficult decisions, including whether to participate in this purely optional program.
Unfortunately, there are only two participating Operation Santa Post Offices within the state of Texas, in Blanco and Austin. There are however a very large number of Operation Santa Post Offices throughout the country. In order to ensure that your child's letter gets routed to Santa from here in The Woodlands, have them address the letter to: SANTA CLAUS, THE NORTH POLE. You can then take the letter to the Post Office when the kids aren't around *wink, wink* and a Post Office employee can get it routed to one of the participating Post Offices for you. Or, if getting to the Post Office alone just isn't a possibility, you can click here for a list of participating Operation Santa Post Office addresses to send the letter directly.