September 15, 2022
The most wonderful time of the year has received a jump start.
The USPS Operation Santa program began accepting letters from people in need on Sept. 15 — six weeks earlier than last year.
The Postal Service made the announcement at the stamp dedication celebrating the new Holiday Elves stamps in North Pole, AK. Michael Elston, secretary of the Postal Service Board of Governors, led the ceremony.
“We know this is earlier than usual, but we’re pretty excited to get the season started and we know kids around the country are eager to write to Santa, using these stamps on the envelopes,” Elston said.
The 110-year-old program provides an online channel where people can safely and securely help children and families have a magical holiday when they otherwise might not have the means. Individuals can adopt letters to Santa and send gifts anonymously.
Last year, letters could be sent beginning Nov. 1. Thousands of letters were received by the time the website, USPSOperationSanta.com, opened for letter adoption on Nov. 29, 2021. However, only 2,500 letters contained the information necessary to be posted and those letters were all adopted within 10 minutes of the site opening.
The Postal Service is hoping the extra time to send letters this year will result in many more letters available to adopt on opening day, Nov. 28.
USPS Operation Santa letters are opened and reviewed, and personal information is redacted, before they are uploaded for adoption by employees, customers and others.
Letter writers must include a first and last name and a complete return address (street address, apartment number if applicable, city, state and ZIP Code). The envelope must have a postage stamp on it to travel through the Postal Service network.
Letters should be addressed to: Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888.