USPS Letters to Santa Program & NORAD's Santa Tracker
Santa is coming to town!!! It’s December 1st and it’s time to start gearing up for the holidays and get the kids prepared for Santa’s arrival Christmas eve. First things first for the kiddos is to write their Santa letter of what they want for Christmas. I always wondered where all these Santa letters go and I learned that USPS has a Letters to Santa Program.
For more than 100 years ago USPS started receiving letters to Santa. In select Post Offices the general public is invited to “adopt” Santa letters. In all locations where the public may adopt letters written to Santa, strict privacy guidelines are in place. Any member of the public choosing to adopt a letter may simply respond in writing or if they choose grant the wish, a decision that is left to the individual.
Individual customers and representatives of organizations wanting to adopt a letter must come to a participating Operation Santa Post Office in person. Both individual customers and organizational representatives must fill out the proper PS Forms 6012 (organization), 6012-A (organization record of letter), or 6012-I (individual) and show identification before viewing any letters.
After completing the forms, you may then read and choose a letter(s). To protect the anonymity of the letter writers, all personal information will be blacked out in the letters you view — no last names, addresses or contact information of any kind will be visible.
- Bring your selections to a postal clerk so the clerk can notate which letter(s) you will adopt.
- Fulfill the wishes of the letter writer
- Once you have fulfilled the wish, you simply bring your wrapped gift(s) back to the same Operation Santa location to mail.
- Individuals and organizations will be responsible for paying the postage to mail the gifts to the recipient.
- Once you pay the postage, the postal clerks will match your box with the letter writer by using an internal numbering system.
- The return address on the box will read “Operation Santa, North Pole.”
For more information about the USPS Santa program click here.
NORAD Tracks Santa
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, launching Dec 1, features Santa’s North Pole Village, which includes a holiday countdown, games, activities, and more. Since 1955, NORAD has used satellites, high-powered radar, jet fighters and special Santa cameras to track Santa Claus as he makes his journey around the world.
This year NORAD will use the NEWSLINE360™ platform to share their latest news and information about Santa's whereabouts and to guide the public toward the entertaining NORAD Tracks Santa® website which creatively presents a wide range of fun activities and educational information about Santa and about NORAD's mission.
The Norad Tracks Santa program is traditionally known for reporting Santa Clause's whereabouts on Christmas Eve, but has evolved to provide entertainment and information for kids and their parents. Today, the official NORAD Tracks Santa ® website is available in eight languages, includes 2D/3D training maps, Santa Camera videos, a countdown calendar and, of course, games.