SANTA CLAUS, Indiana -- The Santa Claus, Indiana, post office is offering a special “picture postmark” to cancel the postage stamps on holiday mail again this year.
The Santa Claus, Indiana, Post Office is the only one in the world that has Santa’s name. The Post Office has offered the special “picture postmark” each holiday season since 1983.
Each year’s holiday postmark is designed by a local high school art student as part of an annual contest. This year’s winner is Abby Wilmes, daughter of Cheryl Wilmes and the late Larry Wilmes. Wilmes, a member of the Heritage Hills Class of 2009, is attending University of Indianapolis and majoring in Psychology and Pre-Occupational Therapy.
“The Santa Claus holiday postmark has become the most popular in the nation over the past two decades,” says Postmaster Marian Balbach. “Postal patrons world-wide request the picture postmark each year and many customers traditionally drive hundreds of miles to personally obtain the famous cancellation on their holiday mail,” says Balbach. She asks that anyone interested in having the special cancellation on their holiday mail to please follow these guidelines:
· Allow at least a 2-inch by 4-inch space in the stamp area for the picture postmark..
· Have postage applied 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..
· In order to ensure a good postmark imprint please 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.
Before Christmas Day arrives, Postmaster Balbach expects 500,000 pieces of mail to come through her post office. During the rest of the year, just 13,000 pieces of mail are processed each month. “We do more than that each day during the Christmas season,” she says.