Dear Santa Letter Week takes place during the second week in November, and takes place from November 6 to 12 this year. Children can write letters to Santa Claus and receive a response from the North Pole. Families throughout the United States are rushing beyond their Thanksgiving celebrations and into the Christmas season!
History of Dear Santa Letter Week
Toward the close of the 1700s, St. Nicholas made his first foray into popular culture in the United States. A New York newspaper stated in December 1773 and again in 1774 that groups of Dutch families had assembled to commemorate his death anniversary. Nick’s Dutch moniker, Sinter Klaas, a shortened form of Sint Nikolaas, became Santa Claus. At the New York Historical Society’s annual meeting in 1804, John Pintard, a member, distributed woodcuts of St. Nicholas.
Sinter Klaas is variously depicted — from wearing a blue hat, crimson waistcoat, and yellow stockings to a man sporting a broad-brimmed hat and a “big pair of Flemish trunk hose” as his fame rose. In 1820, stores began advertising Christmas shopping, and by the 1840s, newspapers had created dedicated sections for holiday advertisements, which frequently contained images of the symbol of the holidays: Santa Claus.
An Episcopal preacher, Clement Clarke Moore, wrote “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” most commonly known as “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas,” for his three daughters in 1822. Moore’s work, which he was reluctant to publish at first owing to the whimsical nature of the subject, is primarily responsible for our present image of Santa Claus.
Countless Christmas-celebrating kids flocked to a Philadelphia store in 1841 to view a life-size Santa Claus model. It would only be a matter of time before the allure of seeing a “living” Santa Claus drew youngsters and their parents into stores. When Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock allowed local postmasters to let their workers react to letters received over the holiday season in 1912, the practice of writing to Santa began.
In the 1940s, mail traffic for Santa expanded to the extent that the Postal Service extended the same offer to philanthropic organizations, community groups, and companies to assist and answer to children who wrote letters to Santa.
Dear Santa Letter Week timeline
St. Nicholas makes his first appearance in American popular culture.
Stores start advertising Christmas shopping.
Clement Clarke Moore publishes his poem and sets the tone for the modern perception of Santa Claus's image.
Frank Hitchcock, the Postmaster, approved replies written by local postmasters to letters addressed to Santa Claus.
Dear Santa Letter Week FAQs
Is it possible for grownups to write to Santa?
Yes. A letter can be written by anyone! Every year, the Postal Service gets tens of thousands of letters from children and adults.
Is it true that Santa has a child?
Santa and Mrs. Claus regard the elves, reindeer, and other residents of the North Pole as their family, even though they have never had children. They get together for birthdays and holidays, trade gifts at Christmas, and enjoy large family dinners on Sundays.
Where does a letter to Santa go after it's written?
Letters with stamps and a North Pole or Santa Claus address are normally delivered to one of the 15 regional post offices participating in Operation Santa.
Dear Santa Letter Week Activities
Write to Santa
Santa is always happy to hear from you, whether you’re a kid or an adult. So get your favorite pen and paper and tell him what you want for the holidays.
Help a child write a letter
Parents and other adults can help the little ones draft their letters to Santa Claus. Show them the proper address and help them get their dream gifts this holiday season.
Send a reply
Why not complete the circle by sending a reply from Santa to your kids or volunteering at the post office to write replies. You would be giving some children the perfect Christmas.
5 Facts About Santa That Will Blow Your Mind
The legend of the red and white
Santa’s previously colorful outfits were limited to red and white, after an advertising campaign by the Coca-Cola company in 1931.
Mrs. Claus made her first appearance in 1849 in a short story by James Rees, a Philadelphia missionary, titled “A Christmas Legend.”
Keeping spooky company
Washington Irving, the author of the “Legend of the Sleepy Hollow," is responsible for the idea of Santa carrying gifts down the chimney.
Since 1914, letters addressed to Santa Claus have been replied to by volunteers, and include a return address.
Christmas was once against the law
The General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted a law in 1659 banning Christmas celebrations, with defaulters asked to pay a fine of five shillings.
Why We Love Dear Santa Letter Week
A conversation with Santa
The fact that we can talk to Santa is much too exciting to contain. A direct line to the big man in red is something that doesn’t happen every day. Having a whole week to do it is just a bonus.
Last-minute gift requests
Dear Santa Letter Week is the best time to make those final additions to your Christmas wishlist. You can tweak your selections and get the best out of the holiday season.
A magical holiday
Christmas always comes with its fair share of magic and wonder. It’s little traditions such as this one that makes the holidays that much more special and memorable.
Dear Santa Letter Week dates