This Christmas cancellation is caused by no foggy Christmas Eve nor dark of night — but rather is the Santa Claus Post Office’s special “Picture Postmark” to cancel the postage stamps on Christmas mail.
The famous small-town post office in Spencer County is the only one in the world with the Santa Claus name and receives over 400,000 pieces of mail in December. Each year, the holiday postmark is designed by a local high school art student as part of an annual contest. This year’s winner is Shyann Smith, a senior at Heritage Hills High School. To get the special postmark, 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 must be requested by the postal customer;
- The picture postmark is available on work days between Dec. 1 and 24;
- To ensure a good postmark imprint, do not enclose large or bulky items in your holiday mail;
- There is no charge for the mark; but, there is a limit of 50 picture (hand cancellation) postmarks per person per day.
“The Santa Claus holiday postmark has become the most popular in the nation over the past two decades,” said 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.”