The Santa’s Mailbag program started in 1954 by 58th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron airmen, and has been carried on by those of the 354th Operations Support Squadron.
Each year, the unit receives thousands of Dear Santa Claus letters and Christmas-wish lists. Volunteers in the 15-person unit sort and read the letters, select an appropriate reply from Santa Claus, and mail the letters with an official North Pole postmark.
Each year, the unit receives and responds to about 4,000 letters.
The volunteers process letters through Christmas of each year. The flight must receive letters to Santa by mid-December to ensure a reply before Christmas. Children whose letters arrive too late will get a special “after Christmas” letter from Santa.
Children can write to Santa at:
Santa’s Mailbag, 354th OSS/OSW, 2827 Flightline Ave. Suite 100B, Eielson AFB AK 99702-1520
There is no cost for the letters, but self-addressed stamped envelopes or donations to help defray the cost of postage are accepted.