Postmarks from the North Pole

imageOne of the more popular stamp collecting themes is that of Christmas.  If I recall correctly, the very first stamp marking the holiday was issued back in 1898 by Canada.  Each year, hundreds more are released by numerous countries with a dozen by the United States just this year.  I particularly like the pictured Gingerbread Houses stamps issued a couple of weeks ago.

But did you know that both the US and Canada offer special postmarks for mail sent from the North Pole?  Both countries provide services where one can send cards and envelopes (in a separate larger envelope) to the North Pole where they will be postmarked and then returned, a cool way to allow a child to receive a letter from Santa.

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While I’ve known about the “Letters from Santa” program operated by the United States Postal Service for many years, I have only just learned of Canada Post’s similar service.  In fact, children mailing their letters to Santa from within Canada don’t even have to put a stamp on the envelope!  To ensure delivery of Santa’s letter in time for Christmas, cards and letters should reach the North Pole no later than 17 December (much earlier for non-Canadian addresses).

Santa’s Canadian address is:

SANTA CLAUS
NORTH POLE H0H 0H0
CANADA

Dig that post code!

For the USPS postmark, mail your stamped and addressed holiday cards and letters in a larger envelope, box, Priority Mail, or Express Mail package to:

NORTH POLE HOLIDAY CANCELLATION
POSTMASTER
4141 POSTMARK DRIVE
ANCHORAGE, AK 99530-9998
U.S.A.

These should arrive in Alaska no later than 10 December to receive the special North Pole postmark.  This service is provided at no cost. Each card or letter must be addressed and have the correct amount of postage.

Many communities throughout America also have local programs set up to respond to letters to Santa Claus. In North Pole, Alaska, letters to Santa may be sent to:

SANTA CLAUS
1 SANTA CLAUS LANE
NORTH POLE, AK 99705-9901
U.S.A.

Additional programs in the U.S. can be found by asking at local post offices or by calling l 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).
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In addition to the North Pole postmarks, there are a number of towns and cities throughout the world with Christmas-related names from which collectors and Yule-spirited mailers can obtain interesting postmarks.  A number of these even have special pictorial postmarks created each year for holiday envelopes. As a youngster, I used to obtain cancellations from the post office in Noel, Missouri, each year, often in red or green ink.  Most of these special postmarks are announced in the USPS’s biweekly Postal Bulletin (as are new stamp issues, by the way).
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Why not start a collection today?  It’s fun and you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it!


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