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How It Works

It’s simple and fun to be a part of the magic this holiday season. Read about ways to participate in the USPS Operation Santa program below.

Program Overview

  • Writing Letters

    We receive thousands of letters to Santa every year
  • Publishing Letters

    The letters are carefully reviewed, scanned and posted here, with personal information removed
  • Adopting Letters

    Generous people adopt the letters and find just the right gifts to help Santa fulfill their wishes
  • Shipping Gifts

    The gifts are shipped and delivered to letter writers on behalf of the North Pole

Key 2023 Dates

Program deadlines may change in 2024.

Sep 18

Holiday Season BeginsThe mailroom starts accepting letters to Santa

Nov 6

Registration Opens for AdoptersCreate and verify your account to be ready for letter adoption

Nov 20

Adoption StartsRead the latest letters and find a favorite to fulfill

Dec 11

Last Call for WritersSend your letters to Santa, learn more about writing

Dec 18

Last Call for AdoptersLast day to adopt a letter and a good time to ship your gift to ensure holiday delivery

About Adoptions

Finding a Letter

Top FAQsSee All FAQs

What are key dates to know for the 2023 program?

  • Monday, September 18: Letters can now be sent to 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888.  

  • Monday, November 6: Preregistration and ID verification for adopters begins.  

  • Monday, November 20: Letter adoption begins.  

  • Monday, December 11: Last day to send letters. Letters must be postmarked by this date.  

  • Monday, December 18:This is the last day to adopt letters before the website closes at 8pm ET. We recommend sending packages by this date to arrive by December 25th.

  • 2024 Program dates are subject to change. Check back here for updates.

Can I adopt an entire family?

Yes. Letters from the same household are posted collectively as a family. You can adopt entire families. Because we don’t want anyone to think Santa forgot about them, we encourage families to be adopted together and for each family member to receive something, if you are able.

Are there letters in Spanish? Any other languages?

Yes. While most of the letters received are in English, the letters written in Spanish are posted and are searchable using the language filter. Occasionally, letters written in other languages come in — we will be working on adding additional language filters in the future.

Where can I find the letter I adopted?

Your adopted letters can be found under Your Letters in your account profile and in the email account you used to register. If you’ve checked all places and cannot find it, please send an email, with the Letter ID Number, to

Do I have to fulfill expensive gift requests?

No, you don’t have to fulfill expensive requests. Hopeful as ever, kids do tend to wish big. But just hearing back from Santa is a win!

See All FAQs

Santa Needs You

Want to help deliver cheer next holiday season? Sign up to be the first to know when the 2024 program opens.

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