Add a Santa Postmark to Your Holiday Mail

Santa Postmark Changes Each Year

This was the 2007 Santa postmark from Santa Claus, Indiana.
This was the 2007 Santa postmark from Santa Claus, Indiana.

How About a Santa Stamp to Go Along With That?

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Santa Postmark is a Cute Addition to Cards and Letters

Christmas is a very busy time of year for Santa Claus. In the North Pole, he has plenty of elves and reindeer to help him get ready for the holidays. But in Santa Claus, Indiana, Santa relies on the U.S. postal workers.

This small town of just over 2000 people in southern Indiana is the only post office in the world named after everyone's favorite holiday character, and because of that, it's very, very busy during the last month of the year. During most of the year, the Santa Claus post office processes about 13,000 pieces of mail per month. But when the holidays roll around, that number skyrockets. In 2008, the Santa Claus post office expected half a million pieces of mail to come through the office between November 15 and December 20. Why? Everyone wants an official "Santa Claus" postmark.

What is a "Santa postmark"? It's a special picture postmark the town has been offering every year since 1983. The image changes each year, and each unique postmark is designed by a local high school art student as part of an annual contest.

According to a 2008 USPS press release, “The holiday postmark has become one of the most popular in the nation." The press release quoted the Santa Claus, Indiana postmaster as saying, "Many customers traditionally drive hundreds of miles to personally obtain the cancellation on their holiday mail.”

Here are some guidelines the postmaster suggests when requesting a Santa postmark:

- Allow a 2x4-inch space near the stamp for the Santa postmark;
- Add postage stamps to your cards or letters before bringing them to the post office;
- Don't request the postmark too soon. The special Santa picture postmark is only available in December;
- Don't enclose bulky items (reindeer food, stickers, etc.) in your holiday mail;
- Limit your requests for the Santa postmarks to 50 picture postmarks (hand cancellations) per person per day.

If you want to have the Santa Claus Post Office add a picture postmark and then send your holiday mail onwards to your recipients, package all your cards and letters —with postage stamps affixed—in a sturdy envelope or box, and mail to:

Santa Claus Postmark
Postmaster
Santa Claus Station
Santa Claus, IN 47579-9998

Be sure to send your box or envelopes early. The post office should receive them no later than December 15 to ensure Christmas delivery.

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