USPS Letters to Santa program (+ some pertinent mailing dates)
Did you know that USPS has an official Letters to Santa program? The program is on a voluntary basis decided at a local level by each Post Office. For 101 years, the Postal Service has been helping make children’s holiday wishes come true.
In 1912 Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized postal employees and citizens to respond to letters. The program is known as Letters to Santa except in New York City where they operate an “Operation Santa” program.
Hundreds of thousands of children of all ages send letters to “Santa Claus, North Pole, Alaska”. Unless these letters contain a complete Alaska address, they remain in the area in which they were mailed. Postal “elves” go through the letters and separate those that express serious need.
Here’s how it works: A person wishing to adopt a letter can go to a Post Office, present valid photo identification, and select one or more letters to take with them and sign the form. The child’s address on the envelope will have been blocked out and the letter assigned a number.
After the individual fulfills the child’s wishes with a gift or special message, he or she returns the letter and gift to the same Post Office and pays the postage. A postal employee will match the number on the letter with the child’s address, apply a label to it and put the package into the mail stream.
It’s not too late to make a child’s wishes come true this season! For estimated delivery by December 24th (this applies to all your outgoing mail not just the Letters to Santa program):
First Class Mail – by Friday, December 20th
Priority Mail – by Saturday, December 21st
Priority Mail Express – by Monday, December 23rd
Choose a box with enough room for cushioning material around the contents. If you’re reusing a box, cover up or black out any old labels and markings.
Place cushioning around your items. Choose packing peanuts, bubble wrap or even newspaper. Close and gently shake the box to see whether there is enough padding. Add more cushioning material if you hear things moving around.
Tape your box shut and reinforce the seams with 2″ wide tape. Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape, or paper tape. Do not use cord, string, or twine because it gets caught in mail processing equipment.
The weight of your package cannot exceed 70 lbs. If you’re planning to use Priority Mail Express™ or Priority Mail® services for faster delivery, length plus girth (distance around the thickest part of the package) can’t exceed 108″. When you use Standard Post™, available at retail Post Office locations, the total can’t be more than 130″.
Happy Holidays from your friends at Strahm Automation!