Operation Santa

Remember Christmas morning when you were 10? Waking up at the crack of dawn and running out to see what Santa had left you under the tree? Remember the excitement of wondering what was inside the box, perfectly wrapped in shinny paper with a tag that read “Merry Christmas From: Santa.” Remember the joy and thrill you felt when you tore the paper off, to find just what you always wanted inside?

Your parents sat with the camera in hand, capturing each extravagant moment on film, happy to see the joy across your face.

You are older now; maybe even have your own child to watch that joyful moment wash all their worries away. You smile as you hear the kids asking Santa for gifts at the mall and remember that warm feeling of simply believing when you over hear them talking about writing their letters to Santa Clause.

This time every year, kids pull out there pencils, pens, markets and crayons and start writing their letters to Santa Clause.

By participating in Operation Santa, hosted by the USPS, and being an Elf this year you can bring that joy and wonder to an underpriviaged child. You can bring that Christmas cheer to a special child, and provided a helping hand to Santa.

Operation Santa was started by the USPS 99 years ago in 1912, the Be an Elf mission was later added on in hopes of creating public awareness for the program and hopefully even recruit new volunteers to help put a smile on the faces of underprivileged children on Christmas day.

Operation Santa currently takes place at 75 postal branch locations where you can read real letters to Santa from underprivileged children and take a letter or more home with you.

It is described as a “no middle man” program, as you send the wrapped gift directly to the child in need.

To be an Elf you would want to first make sure that a post office location near you is participating in the program (FIND ONE).

The Operation Santa – Be an Elf program kicks off on December 1 every year and is typically offered at the main post office location, in the end it is up to the branch manager of each location whether or not they participate.

Once a location has been found, visit the location and read the letters to Santa. When the one that tugs at the heart strings lands in your hand, take it home with you, and then possibly find another.

Next, be one of Santa’s Elves and head out to the store in search of the perfect gift for the little boy or girl on your list.

It is suggested that if the letter mentions siblings you try and purchase something to make their Christmas morning special as well. If possible you may also consider picking up something small for Mom and Dad, such as a candle or small center piece dish.

Wrap the gift up and mail it to the child (children) directly to bring a smile to their face on Christmas day.

Go ahead and embrace in the true meaning of Christmas and give back to those in need, let a child who is not as lucky as you were growing up, have that same wonder, cheer and excitement on Christmas day.

Want to spread the holiday sprite beyond your family? Host a Be an Elf party and invite others to pick up letters, pick out gifts and come over for a wrapping party.

Everyone is just too far away or you aren’t quite the social butterfly? Send them a holiday message linking them to the Operation Santa – Be an Elf site or share it online via Facebook or Twitter.

If there is not a postal location near you participating in Operation Santa – Be an Elf and you would like to make a contribution, you are encouraged to make a tax deductable donation online or via a check in the mail. When you donate online you can chose to make a recurring or one time donation and can also chose to make an anonymous donation and be a Secret Elf.

You can also participate in many other Elf-like activities this Christmas season, such as helping out at your local orphanage or bringing those kids gifts on Christmas day or even partaking in AidForFriends.org’s Christmas for all the ages’ program. You can find more Elf-like activities HERE.

By participating in Operation Santa – Be an Elf you can be sure to spread the Christmas cheer beyond your home.

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