Wondering where to mail your child’s letter to Santa Claus this year? I’m pleased to welcome one of his elves from Canada Post as a guest blogger who will share the details of how to send a letter to Santa:
Writing to Santa – Secrets from a Postal Elf
Did you write to Santa when you were little? Did he write back? If you’re 30 years or younger, and your parents actually mailed your letter, you probably received a letter back from Santa, courtesy of the volunteer postal elves at Canada Post. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Canada Post’s official Santa Letter Writing Program.
For a child, getting mail, any mail, addressed to them is a pretty amazing event. But when it’s from Santa Claus himself, well, words—and a frenzied dance around the kitchen table—can’t adequately express what a big deal it is!
That excitement is exactly what the 11,000 current and retired Canada Post employees who volunteer to help Santa respond to over a million letters each year, live for. Their goal is that every child who writes a letter to Santa at his H0H 0H0 address receives a personalized letter back from Santa.
You can bring that excitement to your house by setting aside some time early in the holiday season to help your children write to Santa. Bring out the red and green pens, markers, paper, and envelopes. Younger children might enjoy just colouring a picture for Santa, but for older children, this is a prime opportunity to teach them how to properly write and address a letter.
How to Write a Letter to Santa
In case you’re a little rusty yourself, here are all the ingredients of a good letter to Santa:
- The return mailing address and the date should go at the top of the letter. A complete return address includes the street address or postal box, unit number (if applicable), city or town, province, and the postal code. Without all of this information, Santa will not be able to write a return letter.
- Letters begin with a salutation such as “Dear Santa” or “Dear Mr. Claus”
- The body of the letter comes next. It usually begins with some introductory small talk from the child to Santa “Did you have a nice summer vacation? Are you ready for your big trip?” goes on to talk about the child’s past year (naughty or nice?) and then delves to the point of the letter—what the child is asking Santa for for Christmas. While writing this part you can have children consider others and not just themselves—maybe considering what their siblings or those less fortunate might like this Christmas. “Please” should be used as the child presents their wish list and “thank you” should be provided after it.
- The closing of the letter is usually Sincerely, Yours Truly, Regards, or even Love, followed by a comma.
- The child should sign or print their name under the closing. If their signature is not completely legible, an adult should neatly print the child’s name in full underneath. It would be unfortunate for Sandro to get a Dear Sarah letter just because Santa’s elves couldn’t read his handwriting.
As one of Santa’s postal elves, I’ve seen a lot of fantastic letters. Some of them leave me in stitches (sorry Johnny, Santa will not be telling your mommy that daddy needs a new motorbike—hmm, wonder who helped you write to Santa?) and some in tears. What disappoints me is to receive a carefully written letter and realize that there isn’t a complete return address. Santa may have the magical powers to know exactly where every child lives but his elves at Canada Post need a bit more than a name and a city.
Where to Send a Letter to Santa
Ok, with the letter written the next activity is the envelope. The return address (just like at the top of the letter) is written on the top left corner of the envelope or on the back. A stamp goes in the top right. And Santa’s address goes in the middle:
Seal it up, and it’s ready to go! Your child’s letter to Santa can be dropped into any Canada Post mailbox. In many communities Canada Post employees also participate in holiday parades, collecting letters along the parade route.
Write to Santa and he’ll write back!
Tips for Parents
- Some parents photocopy their child’s letter and send the copy to Santa (we asked and he doesn’t mind). The original can be a wonderful keepsake.
- Children can have fun decorating their letter to Santa and enclose it in an envelope with colourful stickers or drawings. But please, no sparkle glue (it sticks to everything, including postal equipment used to sort letters!)
- Encourage your child to include something personal in their letter that Santa can respond to. Knowing that your child is a keen hockey player, has a favourite stuffed animal named George, or likes to bake cookies gives the postal elf something to work with. It’s tough to make a response personal when all you have is a list of toys.
- Please don’t send Santa any cookies, money or gifts. He likes letters and drawings.
- Send your letter to Santa by early December. Our volunteer postal elves help Santa respond to well over a million letters each year—this takes time. Help ensure that your child receives a response before Christmas by sending his or her letter in at the beginning of December or sooner.
- Teachers often have each student in their class write a letter to Santa. These group mailings should come with a class list, so the elves can ensure that every child in the class receives a letter back and no one is missed. It’s even more important that these letters are sent in early, as children will want their response before the holiday break.
- Only letters sent to Santa by mail receive a letter by mail back from Santa. However, there is a Santa’s Corner on the Canada Post website where children can do some fun holiday activities and even send an email to Santa.