It’s the most wonderful time of the year! My children and I are excited about cooler weather, comfy sweaters, cocoa and crackling fires and cookie decorating. This holiday season is made more special by the fact that it will be my son’s first year to really write to Santa. But, like lots of things on the road of parenting, this is a first for both my kid and I. So I’ve put together this post to help parents write a letter to Santa with their child! Enjoy the free PDF download and Merry Christmas!

Our Santa Philosophy

My husband and I have a humble home on one income, and so Christmases will always be small in regards to the amount of “stuff” that our kids receive. Even without our limited budget, we like the idea of having smaller, simpler Christmases. It’s important to us that our children don’t focus on how many presents they get, or competing to have the most popular toy; rather, we want our kids to remember the experiences like looking at Christmas lights, making precious keepsakes to give to loved ones, and the wonder and magic of the season.

How to Write a Letter to Santa - Real Simple Mama

So we decided that our kids would ask Santa for one special toy, and their other  gifts would be from us. We never want Santa to be the cool one who gives all the best/nicest/most expensive toys. The elf can give them one present that they ask for, plus the items in their stockings. Any other gifts will be from Daddy and I.

As my children get older, I’ll also explain more about what I intend to do with the whole Santa concept once my kids learn that Jolly Old Saint Nick isn’t really real. The way I see it, he’s more of a feeling and a spirit than an actual person, and my children and I can continue that tradition by being a Santa to people we love.

What the USPS Has to Say

If you’re in the United States, I found a step-by-step guide about how to send your letter to Santa in the mail (and what to do if you want your reply to come back). Check it out here. (It says “Virginia” but it’s applicable to all of the U.S.) I’m so grateful to find these tips from the USPS on how to write a letter to Santa, because otherwise I would have had no idea what to do with this whole process!

Here are my simplified instructions based on the USPS link above:

  1. Have the child write a letter to Santa. Let them put it in an envelope addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole” but don’t mail it! (We let our kids put it out in the box one evening and then got it after they went to bed.)
  2. Write a response to the child. Make sure you sign it from Santa.
  3. Put your response (and the child’s letter, if you want them to get it back) in an envelope addressed to your child, with postage. Make sure it has the return address of “Santa Claus, North Pole”. This is what will be stamped and mailed back to them!
  4. In a larger envelope, place what you want mailed back to your child (Step 3) and mail it (with proper postage) to

ANCHORAGE AK 99530-9998

They will basically open up the outer envelope, stamp that your child’s response from Santa has come through the North Pole Post Office, and send it back! 

How to Format Our Letter

I want to make sure that my kids can practice empathy and kindness even when they write a letter to Santa, so we will make sure to take a minute and introduce ourselves. We will speak in a tone that is thankful and considerate, asking how Santa is doing and telling him about some of the special things that we’ve done this year.

How to Write a Letter to Santa - Real Simple Mama

My kids will ask Santa for one toy and can tell him a little bit about why they would really like this toy. I want to be sure to hammer home that we are to ask kindly, and to be grateful. I wrote a Thanksgiving article about how to teach gratitude, too.

I’ll let my kids draw a picture and sign their name, then we’ll seal it up and send it off! How exciting!

A Few More Ideas

  • We plan to have our kids draw on the paper first with crayons, and then write over the drawings with black pen or marker.
  • Even if your child can’t write yet, they can practice signing their name! Write their name in a signature line at the bottom of the letter in yellow highlighter, and let them practice tracing.
  • Scan the finished letter before you send it off so that you can always have a digital copy to look back on.
  • Take a video of your child putting the letter in the envelope, sealing it, and putting it in the mailbox (or giving to the postmaster at a post office).
  • Pick a special mug and plate for Santa’s milk and cookies, and let the kids help make the cookies and decorate them!
  • You can also make a reindeer food mix out of uncooked oatmeal, sprinkles, and bird seed to spread out in the yard. This will be safe for the local wildlife and it’s fun to take care of Santa’s reindeer, too!

Here’s your FREE PDF download – a Santa letter template!

Please let me know what traditions you and your family have around writing a letter to Santa! I love hearing from all of you, and I love helping everyone have special moments with their children!

And if you’d like to see some of the other letter templates I have, you can check out this one for my son’s birthday, this one for my daughter, and this one for my mom.

How to Write a Letter to Santa - Real Simple Mama