Letters to Santa Claus (Indiana): Send a note and get a response from Hoosier ‘elves’

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The small town of Santa Claus, Indiana, celebrates Christmas all year long, but the holiday season is particularly special.

Each year, tens of thousands of letters to St. Nick are routed to Southern Indiana, where volunteer “elves” at the Santa Claus Museum & Village respond to as many as they can before the big day.

And yes, that’s really the town’s name.

Retro Indy: How Santa Claus was saved

According to local lore, the spirit of Christmas gave the town, located about three hours southwest of Indianapolis, its name. In 1852, residents applied for a post office to be named Santa Fe, but were denied because there was already a Santa Fe (pronounced “fee”) in Indiana. So, the community held several public discussions to determine the new name. Amid these talks, at a Christmas Eve celebration, a gust of wind blew open the doors to the town’s little log church, revealing the faint sound of sleigh bells in the distance.  

“It’s Santa Claus,” children exclaimed, “it’s Santa Claus.” 

Santa Claus Post Office was established in 1856, and the town continues to celebrate its Christmas connection, notably as home of the internationally recognized Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari theme and water parks. 

Residents say the local postmaster began responding to letters on behalf of Santa over a century ago. Now, it’s handled by the museum’s elves who respond to as many as 25,000 a year. 

And you can get your very own. This holiday season, each letter received by Dec. 18 will get a personal note from Santa.

Where to send a letter to Santa Claus

It’s never a bad time to write to Santa, but in order to guarantee a response, letters must be received by Dec. 18. Santa’s address is:

Santa Claus

P.O. Box 1

Santa Claus, IN 47579

Please ensure the return address is legible. For more information or to donate and support the museum’s operations, visit santaclausmuseum.org.

You can reach IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays.