How to Get a Holiday Postmark on Your Christmas Cards

Sending and receiving Christmas cards is much beloved tradition, and a wonderful part of the holiday season. How fun is it to add a fun Santa Claus holiday postmark as an extra special touch?

How to Get a Santa Claus Holiday Postmark
(Image from santaclausind.org )

When I was researching how to do this, I discovered that there are several U.S. towns that have holiday names, and they will stamp your Christmas cards with their postmark, and send them on to your family & friends.  How fun is that?

One in particular is Santa Claus, Indiana. They even have a competition to each year to design the holiday postmark!

The process is actually pretty easy, you just need to allow a little extra time. All you need to do is enclose all of your stamped and addressed cards in another envelope or box labeled “Christmas re-mailing”, and address it to the postmaster in any of these towns.  Allow enough time for postmarking, re-mailing, and delivery.

How to Get Holiday Postmarks on Your Christmas Cards

Here is the 2020 info from Santa Claus, IN post office with all the details:

“The Santa Claus holiday postmark has become the most popular in the nation over the past two decades,” says 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.”

She 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 December 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.

Click HERE OR HERE for a full list of holiday towns compiled by USPS.

*Originally posted in 2013. Updated in 2020.

More Christmas ideas:

How to Get a Holiday Postmark on Your Christmas Cards

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9 Comments

  1. Dumb question, probably … do you pay postage to mail the package of cards to the Postmaster in one of these towns. Also is there a way to see what the postmark is before choosing a town?

    1. No a dumb question at all! Yes, you have to have postage on the big package full of your cards (that are also stamped) to get it mailed to the post office of choice. I don’t know if you can see them postmarks ahead of time–you would have to go to that individual post office website and see if they have it posted. Santa Claus, Indiana usually has theirs up, if I remember correctly.

  2. You can see current USPS pictorial postmarks here:https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2013/pb22377/html/info_009.htm

  3. Thanks for this. I am getting ready to send out mines, just wondering which one to send it to too. I want to send a self address postcard to every city to see what they look like! It’ll be cool, especially if they change it up every year.

    1. I know! I wish there was a way to see all of them before sending them somewhere! Let me know where you send it!!

  4. So I send all my expensive photo cards to the city I choose and they stamp them with their logo and send them all on their way. How can they be trusted in doing this task when its the holiday season? What if they forget to send them on time or misplace my cards? How can I and others be guaranteed they will arrive on time to their final destination? It just me or am I being paranoid?

    1. I totally understand, and if you decided to do it, it would be putting your faith in what they’re offering. Obviously I can’t guarantee whether they will or won’t do it, or forget, but these towns seem to take a lot of pride in this service. In all my research, I never came across negative feedback from people, and I took that as a very good sign.

      You could always do a test one year, and send out just a couple of inexpensive cards to see if it worked! If you did it early enough in the season, you would probably have time to send your actual cards out if you were satisfied with the results.

      Good luck!!

  5. Do they still do this? I see the last post was from 2016. I was hoping to send a letter this year from my 8 year old son, but I don’t know if this still occurs.

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