The Santa Claus, Indiana, Post Office has selected the 2016 special picture postmark for the upcoming holiday season. On Thursday, December 1, the post office will begin offering the picture postmark to cancel the postage stamps on holiday mail again this year.
This famous small-town post office is the only one in the world with the Santa Claus name and receives over 400,000 pieces of mail in December – compared to only 13,000 pieces of mail per month the rest of the year. This special picture postmark has been offered every Christmas season since 1983.
Each year, the holiday postmark is designed by a local high school art student as part of an annual contest.
This year’s artist is Claire Dilger, daughter of Jeff and Stephanie Dilger of Mariah Hill, Indiana. Claire is in her freshman year at the University of Southern Indiana and exploring a future in exercise science.
“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 that 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.
America’s Christmas Hometown: Santa Claus, Indiana, will host a celebration of family fun on the first three weekends of December. Events include the Santa Claus Arts & Crafts Show, the Santa Claus Land of Lights, the annual Santa Claus Christmas Parade, Chestnut Roasting, and more.