US Postal Service expands Operation Santa program nationwide

The North Pole is coming to your backyard.

The U.S. Postal Service expanded its letters to Santa program on Monday, allowing more people to fulfill the Christmas wish lists for families and children in need.

The program began in 1912 with Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock created a mailbox dedicated to letters for Santa, according to the Operation Santa’s website. In the 1940s, the program opened to the general public to participate in, and now, after rolling out a digitized experience in New York in 2017, the USPS will bring the program fully online to allow for people nationwide to adopt the letters written to Santa.

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Children can send their Dear Santa wishlists addressed to “Santa Claus” at his workshop at “123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888” through Dec. 15. Letters must be in stamped envelopes with an accurate return address, the agency shares.

After the letters come in, the USPS will post them online for people from across the country to adopt, after registering and passing an ID verification process. Due to COVID-19, the agency has canceled all in-person letter adoptions.

People across the nation can now adopt the letters written to Santa beginning Dec. 4. (USPS)

For those wanting to answer one of the Christmas letters, they will be available online to adopt beginning Dec. 5.

Letters to Santa are not the only things moving online during the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual Santa meet-and-greet has also gone virtual this year, with different services offering ways to connect with St. Nick via live phone or recorded message.

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