Dear Santa: Writing a letter to Santa
Writing a letter to Santa is a beloved Christmas tradition. If you’re looking for a way to make your child’s letter to Santa a special experience, you’ve come to the right place. Remember to choose what works for your family. You know how much available time you have, your budget, and most importantly you know what your children will enjoy.
1. Picking a date
Choose a date to have your children write their letters to Santa. Some of the more popular choices are Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving weekend, December 1, or December 5 (The day before St. Nicholas Day).
Determine if you want to tell the kids ahead of time so they can anticipate writing their letter to Santa or if you would rather surprise them one day with, “Guess what, kids, it’s time to write letters to Santa right now!”
2. Getting in the Christmas Spirit
Everything is more fun when it’s more festive! To set the Christmas mood play Christmas music, wear Santa hats or Christmas themed clothing/pajamas, drink hot cocoa or apple cider, and eat Christmas cookies. When you’re finished with the letters, watch a Christmas movie or read a book (bonus points if the story is about writing a letter to Santa!).
3. Gathering all the necessary materials
For a simple letter you’ll need the basics: paper, writing utensils, envelopes, and stamps (optional). If you’d like to kick it up a notch consider the following ideas.
*Paper: Have the kids write their letters on special Santa or Christmas themed paper or have them make a card. (Click here for links to free printable “Letter to Santa” paper.)
*Writing Utensils: Crayons and markers are the popular choice, but you could also use glitter or gel pens if that’s something your child would enjoy (although some of these are difficult to read). A simple yet festive alternative to the every day writing utensil is to use Christmas-themed pens/pencils with Christmas toppers. For craft-loving kids have them decorate their writing utensils with glitter, stickers, poms, tinsel, etc. (Don’t let them go too overboard and be sure they don’t gunk up the tip…they still need to write with it!). Consider having a special official “Letter to Santa” pen to use every year. This could be purchased or made. Be careful with some of the cheap themed Christmas pens as the ink doesn’t seem to last from year to year 😦 . Please remember to always use age-appropriate writing utensils and supervise younger children.
*Envelopes: If the kids will be making their own cards, make sure you have an envelope big enough to fit it or have them keep their card letter-sized and foldable. Add stickers or drawings to the envelope but stay away from glitter and such as the letter will be handled by postal workers. Consider putting a Christmas themed stamp on your letter to Santa. This is optional as we all know that Santa will always receive our letter even if there’s no stamp! If you have photo-stamps of the kids that would make it particularly special (bonus points if that photo is from a previous Christmas!). Tomorrow I’ll be writing about mailing your letter to Santa, so be sure to check back for more ideas.
4. Writing the letter to Santa
For many children the focus of the letter is their Christmas Wish List, but many parents are encouraging their children to be more personal (and less greedy) with the jolly old elf.
Below are some ideas of what they can write about.
*Start off by greeting Santa.
*Ask Santa how he is doing
*Ask about other favorite North Pole residents such as Mrs. Claus, Rudolph and the other Reindeer, Buddy the Elf, Frosty the Snowman, Jack Frost, or Suzy Snowflake.
*Thank Santa for the presents he brought last year
*Tell Santa about the year you had, something fun that happened, or any new milestones like getting/losing a tooth, starting school, or welcoming a new sibling to the family.
*Tell Santa about your favorite things such as your favorite color, food, Christmas cookie, book, movie, hobby, or subject in school.
*Tell Santa about your behavior. Be honest and give him examples of the good or bad things that you did and why you deserve to be on the nice (or naughty) list.
*Tell Santa what you want for Christmas.
Give your child a number of things to ask for such as “no more than 3” and explain that Santa doesn’t always give us everything that we ask for.
*Tell Santa what you would like someone else to have for Christmas. “I think you should bring my sister a doll because she was very good and shared with me this year. It would be really nice if you could bring my neighbor a new winter coat.”
*Tell Santa about Jesus’ birthday and how you will celebrate it.
*Leave a question for Santa in the P.S.
*Sign your name, age, and city, state
Tips for non-writing children
If your children are too young to write, you’ll have to write the letter for them while they tell you what to say. There are ways to keep your non-writing children involved in the letter writing.
*Have the children sign their name by holding onto their hand while you form the letters.
*Have the kids draw a picture (This is a good idea whether they can write or not! Santa loves drawings!)
*Include a hand print, finger print, or hand tracing. If you already do this as part of another Christmas tradition…just make another one for Santa!
Make a Hand print Santa
5. Preserving the Memory!
Don’t forget to take photos of your kids as they’re writing their letters. Other important snapshots to take are holding up the finished letter, and putting the letter into the mailbox. If you can record some video footage consider “interviewing” your child asking them what they’re telling Santa. You can use this same technique once the letter-writing experience is over to have the kids either tell you on tape or write down what they thought about it. Give them some prompts such as what was your favorite part about writing to Santa? You may get answers like “I liked drawing Santa a picture or it was really fun to put the letter in the big mailbox.” This will give you an idea of what the child enjoyed, what to make tradition, and what to skip (Did you try decorating the pencils and your child didn’t mention anything about it? Then you could probably skip it the next year and it won’t be missed.) Remember to write your child’s age and the year somewhere on the letter. Adding things such as the hand prints or drawings mentioned above are an added keepsake if you’ll be keeping the letter rather than sending it away.
6. Teaching/Learning Opportunities
Some parents take this opportunity to teach their children proper letter writing etiquette. When Christmas is over, have the kids write Santa a thank you note. For children still learning to write you can take this opportunity to help them practice their handwriting.
For those of you interested in having your child write a formal “business” letter to Santa Claus check out this website Write a Letter to Santa Claus or do an internet search for more information.
A Package from Santa
So you’ve read all of these ideas and you’re still thinking, “This still doesn’t have the magic that I’m looking for. How do I really make this experience special for my child?” Alrighty then, you asked for it…
If you really want to do something unforgettable for your kids you should probably contact Santa and let him know that you want this year to be very special. He just might surprise you by dropping off a package for your kids with special materials in there just for writing him a letter. Of course, just like you, Santa knows your kids and your family very well so he’ll be certain to include just the right stuff. Maybe Santa knows that just sending some stationary, envelopes, and stamps would be perfect for your family. Or maybe he knows that you’d like something a little more involved.
For the craft-loving child he may include the supplies for a hand-made letter to Santa and perhaps even some things for decorating their writing utensil. Santa knows if your kids like to bake with you in the kitchen, so he might just send you a new recipe and ingredients for a cookie that he’d like you to leave for him on Christmas Eve. He might just help you capture that Christmas spirit by sending along a Christmas cd, book, or movie, some cocoa, or your very own Santa or Elf hats. Santa knows that most kids love to color so I wouldn’t be surprised if he included some coloring sheets. Of course, Santa will be sure to send you the envelopes and stamps needed to get your letters back to the North Pole. And you never know, he just might send your kids very special “Letter to Santa” pens only to be used while writing letters to the North Pole.
Santa is really very clever with how he delivers these packages. Sometimes he sends them through the mail, sometimes he leaves them on the porch, sometimes he leave them by the chimney, sometimes he leaves them at the foot of the bed either while the kids are sleeping or while they’re at school, sometimes he’ll have an Elf on the Shelf or an Elf Magic Elf deliver them. One thing’s for sure…no one ever sees him do it, but sometimes you might just hear his sleigh bells.
Does your family have any traditions for writing letters to Santa? Please share in the comment section below!