In my family we have had a longstanding tradition of really giving the littl’ins a fun experience with Santa Claus. When I was a kid, Santa would call my sister and I on Christmas Eve to let us know what we were doing well, how we were misbehaving and to excite us to the point that it generally made it even more difficult to go to sleep. Little did we know that Santa was actually my Uncle Les.
Nowadays he’s called Uncle Skunk and he has maintained the long-held tradition and calls my sister’s kids every Christmas Eve without fail. Last year I decided to get in on the action in my own crafty way. For the first time, the boys received letters from Santa that were actually postmarked from the North Pole!
What I do is I write a letter with a bit of fluff, what they’re doing right, doing wrong and a few inside jokes. Then I include a picture I find online of Santa doing something interesting. I print off my letters, hand them to Santa F. Claus (Russell) for his authentic signature and leave the rest to the US Postal service!
Want to know how to do this yourself? I’ve made some Microsoft Word templates for the letterhead and envelope. Plus, I’ll share with you the letters I wrote to the boys in case you need some inspiration. You can also Google letter from Santa for some that are a bit less, shall we say, colorful.
For this project you will need:
- Computer with Microsoft Word
- FREE downloadable letter format
- FREE downloadable envelope format
- Letter sized paper
- #10 (standard sized) envelope
- Photo paper (optional)
- Larger envelope with adequate postage
Good things to include stuff that is going to impress them. Add their age, their teacher’s name or be sure to use the names of their siblings. Include some interesting thing that only an omniscient being like Santa (or Mom) could know. Include inside jokes, for instance, we have one where my nephew insists that Santa slid off the roof one year so that is often referenced. Also include things that they may be fretting over. Last year I made sure to let the kids know that it was cool that they didn’t have a chimney since they were wigging out a little about that.
Print your letter and have someone sign Santa’s name in handwriting they won’t recognize. I always hand over a pen with colored ink so they can really tell that it is a real signature because I have found it is amazing the things kids will pick up on!
STEP 2: Open the envelope file and update with your child’s mailing address. Print and make sure that it prints correctly. If the address and return address are upside down on the envelope the USPS may return it to you without processing it.
STEP 3: Add personal or special things. I add a candid shot that Santa took for them that I find using Google image search (by the by, I kept constantly running into this Santa and it started to really weird me out – don’t click if you don’t want to see a half naked dude). This year I used some really great ones from Santa Television – Santa’s Internet TV since 2000. There are a bunch to choose from and in the event you’ve got some smart kiddos, Santa is the same guy in all of them. Don’t want someone pointing out that he’s actually a different fella’ in some of them.
STEP4: Tri-fold your letter and include printed pictures or other personalized items. Seal the envelope up and stick on a first class stamp.
STEP 5: Place all of the letters you are sending in one much larger envelope (I use one of those orange letter sized jobbies) and use adequate postage. Send to:
NORTH POLE HOLIDAY POSTMARK
4141 POSTMARK DR
ANCHORAGE AK 99530-9998
Please take note that any envelope over a certain size or weight will need to be dropped off to a USPS postal agent in person. If you try to drop it in a mail slot or leave it in your mailbox it will boomerang its way there and back to you with a stamp explaining that you need to take it into the PO in person.
- Should you decide that you want to use your own envelope, the return address must read: Santa, North Pole
- Be sure to use your own return address on the outer envelope (being sent to Alaska)
- The deadline by which your package must be received is December 15, 2014.
- Packages over a certain size/weight will need to be taken directly to the post office in person.
- Visit the USPS for more information.
- Special thanks to the Graphics Fairy for an awesome Santa graphic used in the free files.