With Christmas just weeks away, the United States Post Office is kicking off its annual Operation Santa letter adoption, but for the first time, the 108-year-old program is going online coast to coast. 
The program was created in 1912 as a way for Americans to give back to the less fortunate. Strangers can "adopt" a letter that a child has written to Santa listing what they would like to receive under the Christmas tree this year for making it onto the jolly ol' fellow's Good List.
Adults and families can also write in requests to be fulfilled by anonymous St. Nicks.
"There's a lot of people that need help every year and that's what this program is all about: is to try to help people who may not necessarily be able to provide holiday gifts for their families," Kim Frum, senior public relations representative at USPS, told Cheddar.
This year, the program's virtual presence has been expanded but not because of the ongoing pandemic. Three years ago New York City acted as a pilot city to test the program's ability to flourish online. After a successful run, the agency expanded the test program to seven U.S. cities. Now it's' going nationwide.
  • If you plan to adopt a letter: 
    Visit the USPS Operation Santa website and browse through letters until you come across one you like. Purchase and wrap any gift or gifts you want to send, then drop your package off at one of the 19,000 participating post offices. Once it's been delivered, the secret Santa will receive an email confirmation.
  • If you want to write a letter:
    For those thinking about writing to Santa this year, the process is fairly simple. After writing your wish list, remember to address it to ensure it arrives at Santa's factory in the North Pole, otherwise, you might receive a handwritten thank you letter from the post office.
"People write letters from all over the country and they send the letters to 123 Elf Road, North Pole, 88888. It's a legitimate address. I promise you, and it does get delivered," Frum said.
For parents with reservations about random people having your kid's information, USPS has you covered. Once postal workers open the letters, they redact "any personally identifiable information."
"The safety of these letter writers is of the utmost importance," Frum noted.