Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Letter-Writing: Letters to Santa

Santa Claus readings letters: Christmas, Florida
Photo from the State Library and Archives of Florida

One of the best things about holidays are traditions-wether it is making them, or reminiscing about days gone by! A now iconic part of the Christmas Season is a child's letter to Santa. Not only can it be a great tradition to start with children, but a fun way to introduce the art of correspondence with the next generation.

What your child or children's letter will look like depends on the writer's age and abilities, but everyone will enjoy festive stationary! So go pick out some fun, holiday themed paper for the kids to write on before getting started. Depending on the child, you may wish to do a rough draft or "sloppy copy" first, but since this is meant to be a fun activity and not a school lesson, writing just one letter- spelling mistakes and all- is fine too.

Since this is a chance to introduce even quite young children to a friendly letter format, go ahead and start with the date followed by "Dear Santa." Then, encourage your child to write more than just a list of items they want. They could start off by asking Santa a little about himself. What is it like living in the North Pole? Have all the reindeer been well? Depending on the age of the writer, this part could be a sentence or its own paragraph; those younger than second grade often find the physical task of writing a challenge as gross motor skills are still being learnt, but older children should generally be able to write a bit more. Whatever they choose to write, I'd suggest staying away from defenses about wether the child has been "naughty or nice" as that is subjective and could be stressful for your children rather than fun.

 For the next section of the child's letter, talk to them about what they want for Christmas. You probably want to stress being realistic (Santa can't bring back the family pet who passed away; nor will he likely be bringing the entire contents of a toy store), and helping the child prioritize to realize what it is they are actually hoping for. This is a chance for any of Santa's Helpers to find out what is truly the heart's desire while teaching about self-awareness and contentedness; you can also take this moment to share about any beliefs your family holds about Christmas. Then, show your kid(s) how letters end in a salutation, and have them sign their name.

There are many places to mail Letters to Santa to, and a trip to any one of these places with your child to send off the letter adds to both the tradition and their understanding of how post works. The U.S. postal system takes letters to Santa as do many department stores like Macy's (Some Macy's stores will donate a dollar to the Make a Wish Foundation for each letter to Santa is receives. Find out more). Likewise, there are several choices for how addresses to send your letter to. Just a few include:
  • Santa Claus, Arctic Circle, 96930 Rovaniemi, Finland. 
  • Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0, Canada
  • N. P. S. C. P.O. Box 56099 North Pole, Alaska 99705-1099
Correspondence isn't usually a one-way communication, and letters to Santa don't have to be either! There are several places that help get a letter from Santa back to your child. You can write the letter yourself and send in a self-addressed and stamped envelope inside another envelope to this address:
North Pole Postmark Postmaster
4141 Postmark Dr.
Anchorage, AK  99530-9998

They will mail it from their post office with the proper postmarks. Alternatively, The Santa Clause House will mail personalized letters to your child as Santa too.

For more further reading, try these:
How to Write a Letter to Santa Claus
How Can Kids Send a Letter to Santa
How to Send a Letter to Santa
Santa Letters are a Centuries Old Tradition

LETTER WRITING SERIES: THANK YOU NOTES | PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE | LOVE LETTERS | SYMPATHY LETTERS | CONGRATULATORY LETTERS | POSTCARDS | LETTERS OF APPRECIATION | CORRESPONDENCE CHESS | GET WELL CARDS | LETTERS TO SICK CHILDREN | INVITATIONS | HOLIDAY LETTERS | LETTERS TO SANTA| LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION | LETTERS TO THE EDITOR | CIRCLE LETTERS | LETTERS TO POLITICIANS | WRITING TO ADVICE COLUMNS | THE LETTER WRITING GAME | PENPAL LETTERS | LETTER OF COMPLAINT | COVER LETTERS | LETTERS TO PRISONERS | OPEN LETTERS | LETTERS TO FUTURE YOURSELF | LETTERS OF APOLOGY | "OPEN WHEN" LETTERS | FAN MAIL | GOOD BYE LETTER |

7 comments:

  1. I mentioned your series on letter writing in my last post, Christmas Gifts under $20. It is such a wonderful series on an art form that sadly is becoming lost in our tech driven world.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://suzannecarillo.com/brilliant-christmas-gifts-20/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks you Suzanne! I enjoyed reading all your great gifting ideas btw!

      Delete
  2. Aw I really like your suggestion to have your kid start off by asking a little bit about Santa and his year. As a kid I'd dive right into what I wanted, but having them start it off as an actual letter makes Old Saint Nick seem that much more real- not that he's not ;)

    Also, this reminds me of a thing I saw on Reddit a week or two ago. Someone passed by the Macy's Santa letter writing station and there was an unfinished letter on the table by a super young kid, asking "please make Simba's daddy wake up". Haha awww, so sad and adorable all at once!

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  3. Wow, I love the research you did for this post!
    Also the careful consideration for the letters comments. Thanks for the sage advice, will have to use someday :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. My (Finnish) mom always used to brag about how kids write to Santa in Finland. Good to know she wasn't making it up!

    ♥ perfectly Priya

    ReplyDelete

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