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Child putting letter to Santa under a Christmas tree

Christmas Is Coming! Write Letters to Santa with This Easy Template

Of all the venerable Christmas traditions, there’s one in particular that gives children the opportunity to think about what they want and how to go about asking for it. It’s time to put pen to paper and write a letter to Santa Claus. After all, how else will ole Kris Kringle know what to deliver on Christmas Eve?

Every year, children from all over the world write letters to Santa with their wish list of gifts. The Christmas tradition is great for kids of all ages and gets them excited about the holiday long before December 25. 

Are your kids wondering how to write a letter to Santa Claus? Help them craft a fun and memorable message with some interesting facts about the big man himself and a handy letter-to-Santa template

Santa’s Many Names

Old Saint Nick, Kris Kringle, Papá Noel—Santa Claus has a lot of names. Your children can begin their letter with “Dear Santa Claus,” his name in North America, or they can choose an alternative from a different part of the world.

  • Father Christmas (UK): Like Santa Claus in the US, the United Kingdom’s Father Christmas travels around the world in a reindeer-drawn sleigh delivering gifts to children on Christmas Eve. 
  • Papá Noel (Spain): Depending on where they live in Spain, children receive gifts from Papá Noel on December 24 or 25. Children in Spain and Latin America also traditionally receive a visit from the Reyes Magos, the Three Wise Men, who fill their shoes with candy and small gifts on January 6.
  • Weihnachtsmann (Germany): Weihnachtsmann, which translates to “Christmas man,” delivers gifts to families on Christmas Eve in northern Germany. In the country’s south, “das Christkind,” or the Christ child, takes care of the gift giving.
  • Babbo Natale (Italy): The Italian Santa is a little thinner than the North American version but has the same long white beard and red cloak. He delivers gifts to Italian families that they collect and open together on Christmas Eve. But the presents don’t end there. La Befana, or the Epiphany, also delivers small gifts and treats stuffed into the socks of good children, but she waits until the night of January 5. 
  • Papai Noel (Brazil): Children in Brazil leave a single sock on a windowsill for Papai Noel to find. He fills it with small gifts, candies, and treats. 
  • Noel Baba (Turkey): Christmas isn’t widely celebrated in Turkey, but some families practice common Christmas traditions on New Year’s Eve. They’ll decorate a tree and share small gifts. 

Your Letter-Writing Guide

It can be tricky for kids to know what they should write to Santa (other than their wish list, of course). You can provide kids with our template or examples of children’s letters to Santa to work from, but the best advice is to encourage them to write a simple note that’s fun and to the point. Here are a few ways to help your young ones bring the magic of the season to their message.

  1. Get festive. Before your children start writing, put on some carols and have them dress for the occasion in their favorite Christmas sweater or a red, white, and green outfit. Peel an orange (a traditional Christmas food in many places) or make a mug of hot chocolate so they have something to snack on while they write. 
  2. Pens, paper, and decorations. Set your children up with everything they need to write their letters: their favorite pens, some stationery or our template, stickers, and other craft supplies to make their message unique.
  3. Take a minute to think. Help your children think about what they would like to say before they put their pen to paper. If your kids are nervous about spelling, guide them through tough words. Let them know Santa doesn’t mind misspelled words—and encourage them to write freely and have fun!
  4. Greetings. Kids can choose to open their letters with “Dear Santa” or one of his other names. You can use this opportunity to teach them (if they haven’t learned this already) that using the word “dear” is a polite way to greet someone when writing a note or letter.
  5. First impressions. Your children can introduce themselves to Santa with their names and ages and tell him a little about themselves. 
  6. Wish away! Now comes the best part: the Christmas wish list. Help your children write a numbered list of the presents they would like to receive for Christmas. Encourage them not to make it too long, but to include as much detail as possible for each gift so that Santa gets it right. Most importantly, don’t forget “please” and “thank you”! If your young ones can think of someone who also deserves a nice present, their wish lists can include that as well. 
  7. Wrap it up. It’s time for your kids to sign off on their notes. They can use a polite send-off, like “Sincerely,” or “Merry Christmas,” before adding their signatures. 
  8. Make it unique. Once the letters are written, it’s time to decorate them. Your children can add wintery drawings like Santa, Christmas trees, snowmen, sleighs, or reindeer. They can also spiff up their letters with stickers or glitter glue.
  9. Send it. Now it’s time to address the envelope. If you and your children would like to participate in the USPS’s “Operation Santa” and receive a reply from St. Nick penned by a volunteer, address the envelope as:
      123 ELF ROAD
      NORTH POLE 88888

Be sure the address is written correctly before sealing your children’s letters inside and dropping them in the mailbox or at the post office. The USPS requires your return address in the upper left-hand corner of the envelope and a first-class stamp. 

If you’d rather write Santa’s response yourself, then Santa’s post office helpers have your back!  According to USPS, a volunteer from the post office will help remove the kids’ letters to Santa before sealing the envelope and mailing it back. Follow these steps to mail your letters and have your kids receive a reply postmarked from the North Pole:

  • Have your children write their letters to Santa and address them to “Santa Claus, North Pole”
  • Write your own responses to the letters on the back of the kids’ letters and sign them “From Santa”
  • Put the letters into an envelope, address it to your children at home, and add the return address “Santa Claus, North Pole”
  • Put a first-class stamp on the envelope addressed to your children.
  • Place the envelope addressed to your children into a larger envelope with sufficient postage and your return address and mail it to:
      4141 POSTMARK DR
      ANCHORAGE, AK 99530-9998
  • Put the envelope in the mail before December 10, and your children should receive the letters in time for Christmas.
A mother, father, and young girl wearing festive red sweaters sit down to write a letter to Santa in front of the Christmas tree

Christmas Around the Globe

Writing letters to Santa is a classic Christmas tradition, but it’s just one of many from around the world. Why not incorporate something new and international into your yuletide festivities this year?

  1. Hiding brooms (Norway). In some Norwegian households, Christmas Eve preparations aren’t complete until the children hide household brooms and mops for the night. It’s not because they’re trying to avoid chores, however. Some believe ghosts and spirits will take them on a midnight joyride through the night sky.
  2. Spider webs (Ukraine). There’s an old Ukrainian folk tale about a woman who couldn’t afford decorations for her Christmas tree. But she was kind, allowing a family of spiders to take shelter from the cold in the branches. To thank her, the spiders wove gossamer webs that glistened in the Christmas morning light. Some people in Ukraine decorate their Christmas trees with weblike ornaments to bring good luck to the household.
  3. Finding the star (Poland). Unwrapping Christmas presents can’t start for some Polish families until someone, sometimes the youngest child, spots the first star of the evening. Once they spot it, the festivities can officially begin.

Of course, there are plenty of other Christmas traditions to integrate into your festivities as well. Why not gather friends and family to sing carols door-to-door or decorate a gingerbread house alongside your Christmas tree this year? Who knows, perhaps the adventure of trying out a new activity each and every holiday season will become an annual family tradition in and of itself.

Not sure where to start? You and your children can learn how Christmas is celebrated in Brazil, bake Norwegian Rice Pudding for Christmas dessert, or make some delicious Welsh toffee. If your kids are keen to continue exploring cultures from around the world, they’ll love our World Edition subscription box. With it, they can explore new countries every month through games, stories, and hands-on activities that will encourage their thirst for knowledge and new experiences.