The USPS Operation Santa Program is Open NOW! Brighten a Child’s Christmas by Adopting Letters & Playing Santa

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More Christmas

Here’s how you can participate in the USPS Operation Santa letter submission & adoption program.

christmas presents under a tree

Here’s a sweet way to give back this season!

Here at Hip2Save, we truly love sharing all the latest deals with you, and we’re so thankful to play a part in making the holidays more affordable for families all over the country! Unfortunately, there are still a lot of families in need who struggle around this time of year while trying to provide their loved ones with a memorable holiday season.

Luckily, the USPS is running its Operation Santa program once again this year, and it’s the perfect opportunity to help others and give back! Beginning today, November 28th, you can “adopt” letters and help another family.

USPS truck

What’s Operation Santa?

Every year, the USPS receives tons of hopeful letters to Santa. Instead of tossing these heartfelt letters, the USPS decided to respond and the initiative became known as Operation Santa.

Today, the USPS collects letters and holiday wish lists from families all over the country. Once the letters are accepted and the writers’ personal information removed, they’re put “up for adoption” for folks from all around the US. Those that adopt can then purchase the wish list items and get them to the families with a little help from the USPS.

It’s a safe way to spread the holiday cheer and help other families have the best holiday possible.

For weeks, the USPS has been collecting those letters and now they are up for adoption!

girl writing letter to Santa

If you’re looking to be a part of the Operation Santa program this year, you’ll be allowed to adopt up to 15 letters – open now! First you’ll need to create an account to verify your ID and register to participate. Here’s how:

  • Select “register & verify ID” if you haven’t yet. Note that even if you’ve participated in the past, you’ll need to renew your registration each year.
  • Create an account and verify your ID and password. If you aren’t able to verify your ID online, you can visit one of the 19,000 participating Post Office locations with a Label Broker service.
  • After you’re approved, you’ll receive an email with detailed information on how to join in and make the most of the program by adopting a letter or letters.

Businesses are also welcome to take part in the USPS Operation Santa program, but every individual participant will need to go through the verification process.

cookies and milk for santa

Looking to submit a wish list? It’s not too late!

Through December 12th, you can write your letter to Santa, enclose it in an envelope with a First-Class Mail stamp, fill in your complete return address including apartment number and directional information (if necessary, ex. E Main St, Apt 103), and Zip Code, and mail it to Santa’s official workshop address:

Santa Claus
123 Elf Road
North Pole, 88888

If you’d like some inspiration and tips, the USPS has a helpful guide for writing the perfect letter to Santa!

elf writing a letter

Plan to participate? Here are some key dates to remember:

  • November 28: Letters are now available for adoption; make sure you register first.
  • December 12: Last day to place wish list letters in the mail.
  • December 21: This is the last day for adopters to adopt letters and ship their packages. Adoptions close at 8 pm ET.

Prefer giving experiences over things? Give the Gift of Time this holiday season!

About the writer:

With a bachelor’s degree in communication and political science, Leslie has over 12 years of experience in the deal industry as a content writer and editor.

Join The Discussion

Comments 13

  1. AGoodall

    Looks like it’s already crashed; it’s telling me that it will have letters ready in 13 hours. I tried to adopt 4 unsuccessfully with it saying they were claimed by others… and MANY of the letters that are up there are kids asking for full size dirt bikes or ATVs, and parents looking for full size red SUVs and such. Numerous iPad requests and gaming PC requests. It’s very hard to find reasonably priced gifts that I feel comfortable giving, and all 4 were already snatched up as I tried to do the ones that were asking for stuff around $200-300 worth. Just FYI to anyone looking to do it. I’m hoping to find the right letter to spread some Christmas cheer and I’m trying to not be too disappointed!

    • BlueWaterGirl

      I still like the Angel Tree through the Salvation Army since I have found the same thing in the past with Operation Santa. We also prefer to buy for the elderly who may be forgotten and need things like warm coats or blankets.

      • chesca

        AWESOME IDEA. Thank you for my new Christmas tradition. 💖

        • BlueWaterGirl

          ❤ My pleasure!

      • AGoodall

        I don’t even know how to find an Angel Tree near me. Do they do that online now too? I also got several ornaments for my senior citizens through my local PD/COA who do a tree every year. Toiletries, soaps, deodorants, and weirdly a bunch of them asked for mixed nuts! But we do that too <3 It's my favorite season to gift and I always try to budget to have a little for others. Bummed about USPS Operation Santa so far!

        • dylanfan

          Depends on your local Salvation Army if they do it online. My Walmart had a tree in it, as does the mall. I’d google your local Salvation Army call and ask them.

        • BlueWaterGirl

          They do have some Angels online for your local area and I think they’ll tell you where you can find some of the trees as well. You do have to bring the gifts to your local Salvation Army but that’s no biggie since I think they are in most places.

        • BlueWaterGirl

          I responded below to part of your post but I love doing those little things as well. They are fun treats for them and thanks to this Hip2Save community, we have so many opportunities to find those items so cheaply. #groupeffort #spreadthechristmascheer

    • Misty Dawn Russell

      We just found out about this. Never heard of it till today. The kids were just going to ask for help with groceries. They are teens and they know I struggle to keep food on the table! Idk if anyone would adopt us for that or how that would work? They said if they want to get us anything other than that it is completely up to them. They’d rather have a full belly!

  2. Trisha A

    My girls, age 5 and 7, filled these out tonight and plan to mail in the morning. Any idea if they should be mailed together or separate?

    • Andrea

      The website said to include both in the same envelope.

      • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

        Thanks so much for the helpful response, Andrea! ❤️

  3. Misty

    We just learned of this. I have a 12 yr. Old girl and 2 boys age 14 and 16. They just want me to write a letter asking for help with groceries and snacks. They know im not going to have money to buy anything good. They’d rather have a full belly! Maybe someone will help. We are turning our letter in today! Last day to submit!!

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