Maui News

Kids Send Your Letters — USPS Operation Santa is Underway for this Holiday Season

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The annual USPS Operation Santa program is underway, with children invited to send letters to Santa with the possibility of having their wishes fulfilled by anonymous donors. Image Courtesy: USPS

With Christmas only 54 days away, Santa Claus and his US Postal Service elves are working to deliver happy holidays to keikis across the state through the USPS Operation Santa wish fulfillment program.

Beginning today, the program will accept children’s letters submitted for potential “adoption” by anonymous gift givers. Adopters fulfill children’s Christmas wishes by purchasing and sending them gifts on behalf of Santa.

In 2020 more than 23,000 Santa letters submitted to the program were adopted nationwide, including 140 in Hawaiʻi.


With so many island families struggling due to financial or health issues related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impacts, some parents may not be able to provide their children’s holiday wishes this year.

Since its beginning in 1912, the USPS Operation Santa program has helped connect millions of children and their families with generous adopters. In recent years, the program transitioned from a hard-copy program hosted by certain Post Offices to a digital program that allows customers to access Santa letters at the USPS Operation Santa website.

To participate in the program as a potential holiday gift recipient, children can write a letter to Santa and put it in an envelope with a First-Class Mail Forever stamp. The letter should include the child’s complete return address. The letter should be sent to Santa Claus, 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888.


Letters must be postmarked by Dec. 10, and will be uploaded to the USPS Operation Santa website through Dec. 15 for potential adoption.

Here are some characteristics of a good letter to Santa:

  • It’s legible
  • Has a return address on both the letter and the envelope; make sure to include the full return address — apartment number, directional information (i.e., E Main St, Apt 103) and ZIP Code
  • It has specific wishes—including sizes, styles, colors, titles & names
  • It is addressed correctly to Santa 
  • It has a postage stamp

When someone writes a letter, it is opened by Santa’s postal elves, and for safety reasons, all personally identifiable information of the letter writer is removed (i.e., last name, address, ZIP Code) and uploaded to for adoption. There is no guarantee that letters submitted to the program will be adopted.


Hawaiʻi residents are encouraged to go online beginning Nov. 29 to adopt letters submitted to USPS Operation Santa to help a child have a happy holiday. Letters can be filtered by state. Details on how to adopt a Santa letter and a history of the program are available at

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.


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