SANTA CLAUS, Indiana - Only one post office in the world has the famous Santa Claus name.
Located in Indiana, the small-town facility is gearing up for a busy holiday season with a new holiday postmark.
“The Santa Claus holiday postmark has become the most popular in the nation over the past two decades,” said Postmaster Marian Balbach. “Postal patrons worldwide request the picture postmark each year and many customers traditionally drive hundreds of miles to personally obtain the famous cancellation on their holiday mail.”
Up to 30,000 letters to Santa are answered each year by volunteers of “Santa’s Elves,” a non-profit organization formed in 1974.
Designed by a local high school art student as part of an annual contest, the special “picture postmark” has been offered every Christmas season since 1983. The artist of this year’s postmark is Nolan Brinkman, son of Wayne and Susan Brinkman from Dale, Indiana. A 2013 graduate of Heritage Hills High School, Nolan attends Purdue University studying business management.
The Santa Claus post office receives more than 400,000 pieces of mail in December. The rest of the year, only 13,000 pieces of mail are processed each month.
America’s Christmas Hometown of Santa Claus will host a celebration of family fun on the first three weekends of December. Events include a traditional Christmas Dinner with Santa; Santa Claus Land of Lights, a 1.2-mile drive through Lake Rudolph Campground & RV Resort; Santa Claus Arts & Crafts; Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire; and more.
Postmaster Balbach asks anyone interested in getting the special cancellation on their holiday mail to follow these guidelines:
• Allow at least a 2-inch by 4-inch space in the stamp area for the picture postmark;
• Apply postage to cards or letters before bringing or mailing them to the post office;
• If you wish to mail Christmas cards to the post office, package them—with postage stamps already on them—in a sturdy envelope or box, and mail to: Postmaster, Santa Claus Station, Santa Claus, IN 47579-9998;
• The picture postmark is available on working days between Dec. 1 and 24;
• The picture postmark must be requested by the postal customer;
• To ensure a good postmark imprint, do not enclose large or bulky items in your holiday mail (Ex: reindeer food, snowflakes, glitter, stickers, etc.);
• There is no charge for postmarking; however, there is a limit of 50 picture postmarks (hand cancellations) per person per day.
For more information: Contact the Spencer County Visitor Bureau at (888) 444-9252 or www.SantaClausInd.org/Christmas