When I was young, my sister and I would leave our letters to Santa Claus out with the required milk and cookies, wishing him a safe journey home to the North Pole and thanking him for the assumed stack of presents we would receive.

In response, my dad would write out "Santa's" response with his left hand, creating a nearly illegible mess but ensuring we wouldn't suspect anyone other than the man in the red suit had eaten our dry pie crust cookies when we woke up Christmas morning. 

But if your family is far more prepared than we were and like to send letters out early, the U.S. Postal Service has created a way for your kids to get a letter back from the actual North Pole with the Greetings from the North Pole Post Office program. 

To get a letter from Santa postmarked from the North Pole, here's what you need to do: 

Have your child write a letter to Santa and put it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole. Write a personalized letter in response and sign it "From Santa."  Put both letters into an envelope addressed to your child. Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope. Make sure a First-Class Mail stamp is affixed to the envelope. Put the complete envelope into another larger envelope, with required postage, and address it to:

NORTH POLE POSTMARK
POSTMASTER
4141 POSTMARK DR
ANCHORAGE AK 99530-9998

Get your letters in the mail by Dec. 7 and Santa's helpers will take care of the rest. 

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