Sending thank you letters to Santa

Am I the only one who makes my kids write to Santa AFTER Christmas? A few people look at me strangely when I’ve said my kids always write thank you letters to Santa.

I just think it is good manners and teaches them respect. Thank you notes to Santa are in some ways more important than other thank you notes because he doesn’t hand you the present to get even a cursory ‘thanks’.

My expectations of the letter have changed over time (as my kids get older they are capable of more of course) – I wrote the first few with their input but now I let them write their own letters and am pleased to say they do it pretty well.

Writing two letters a year isn’t a big ask, especially given how much Santa does for us!, and is much better than just writing one letter all about what you want! Do you have any other relationships in your life where that would work well?

This year we made the thank letters part of our Boxing day – it is a quiet day at home, exploring new things and tidying away wrapping paper, etc so it seems like a good time to write those letters.

But seriously, does no one else do this???

73 Responses to Sending thank you letters to Santa

  • Santa's Elf says:

    Hi Sarah, I agree that writing a thank you letter to Santa is simple good manners. And teaches kids a valuable lesson about gratitude and showing appreciation.
    I have heard some people leave a basic thank you note with the Santa snack on Christmas Eve – better than nothing but I don’t think it is as good as a letter showing appreciation of actual gifts received.
    My kids do write thank you letters to Santa – and hopefully other families do likewise!

  • Blueeyes says:

    My daughter (when she was younger) always wrote a thank you letter to Santa and she also left him a Hello and have a safe trip note with his milk and cookies. I have always taught my daughter to be appreciative for things she receives from anyone, so Santa of course was no different:)

  • Erica says:

    I think this is a great idea! A lot of parents these days don’t teach their children the art of “Thank You” notes. I think it’s something every child needs to do. PLus, I love receiving handwritten thank you’s from younger children. They are always so cute and sloppy! 🙂

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Hi Erica, you’re right – those letters can be so cute! And it can be interesting to see what they actually thank you for – it is not always what you expect (my son once said ‘thanks for sitting on my couch’ to a visitor rather than the common ‘thanks for visiting’!)

  • chiller says:

    Hello Sarah,
    I’ve never thought about doing this with my kids but this definitely a great way to teach them about gratitude. Thank you for this smart idea!

  • Metarex says:

    I, myself, never had to write thank you letters to Santa or known anyone to do it, but if I were asked to do it, I would do it. It’s a good way to teach children manners and respect when they’re younger and it seems to have become a good traition to have. It can bring families closer if done right like you have.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      It is interesting how few people wrote thank you letters to Santa as kids, yet we all sam to agree it is good manners to do so. I suspect Santa will start getting more letters next January!

  • Niconi says:

    When I was very young my parents would have us write thank you notes, but as I got older we eventually stopped. If I ever have kids though I would definitely have them write them though! I agree with the previous posters in that it does help teach manners and gratitude.

  • Smokey says:

    I don’t have any children of my own but this is a really good idea. As a kid, my parents would let all 6 of us (I’m the 5th child out of 6) write letters to Santa letting him know what we’d like for christmas and we’d always make sure to put a thank you at the end of the letter. However, I quite like the idea of doing both. 1 before christmas asking him for the things you’d (well the kids) like and then after the holidays thanking him for those things. I feel it’s also a good way of children to learn to say thank you and learn some proper manners this way as well. So I think when I have kids, I will do this with them as well.

  • dashboardc33 says:

    I have never heard of this, but it is a really great idea! I feel it is important for kids to understand where the gifts came from and who to thank! I think I am going to start this tradition with my 2 year old daughter!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Hi dashboardc33 🙂 I agree it is a great think to teach your daughter – and it can be a lot of fun, too, so she will have positive ideas about saying thank you.

  • anotherspaceman says:

    That’s a lovely idea. But to help with your enquiry, it’s not something I’ve done or ever heard of anyone else doing!

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Amazing isn’t it anotherspaceman – so many people agree it’s the right concept but so few people seem to have put it into practice – yet we all grew up writing letters to Santa about what we wanted…

  • mommy2senj says:

    I have my children write a letter to Santa to leave with the Christmas cookies they leave out. The letter thanks him for visiting and bringing gifts. They also wish him a Merry Christmas in the letter.

  • romes says:

    I never wrote letters to santa before or after Christmas. I actually don’t remember a time where I believed in him. My whole family would tell me “to be good or else santa wouldn’t bring any toys” but I always knew something was amiss. Anyways, I think it’s a good idea for kids who do believe in santa to say thank you. It teaches good manners and now-a-days, manners are a hard thing to come by.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Thanks for sharing your story, Romes. Manners are such an important base for us to lives ell together so anything that inspires good manners has to be worth a shot, doesn’t it?

  • mommy2senj says:

    Thank-you Santa’s Elf. I like to teach the kids to be thankful and not to just expect things all the time. We also are sure to send thank-you notes to anyone else go gives a gift to the kids as well.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      If anything, i think it is more important to teach kids gratitude now than in the past as our kids have so much and are exposed to so many things.
      Thank you notes to all who give a gift is an old tradition and instills good habits and morals IMO.

  • Randomhero says:

    I havent met anyone that makes their kids write thank you letters to santa. That does instill good morals though which is nice. Your the first person i’ve met that teaches their kids that 🙂

  • Pandorical says:

    Aww… this is really cute. I’ve never really thought of this but when my kid gets old enough to write letters I’ll make sure I do just this. Thanks for the idea!

  • angeldrb says:

    When I was a kid, my parents discouraged Santa in our house. So, I didn’t experience writing letters to him.

    But I still think that this is a good way of teaching children how to be thankful for what they receive, even if the thank you is indirect.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I think it is just part of treating manners and respect – much nicer to encourage a thank you letter than lecture on manners 🙂 Even with different believes and family traditions, thank you notes are lovely – does your family send them to people other than Santa, angeldrb?

  • angeldrb says:

    Yes. We’re a Catholic family so I grew up writing letters to Baby Jesus instead. I’d then put them in his manger before Christmas. It’s a good tradition not only for children, but also for adults.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Showing gratitude and appreciation for things is always good. Children writing letters and learning valuable skills is also good. Writing to Santa or Jesus or someone else is all a matter of your beliefs, isn’t it?

  • angeldrb says:

    Yes, the main point here is that good manners will be instilled to children by this simple task. They’d grow up to be respectful persons who know how to show gratitude to others.

  • morrisau says:

    What a wonderful idea to keep the spirit of christmas alive. The art of following up with a Thank You note or letter I think has been lost. I can not recall the last time I have received a Thank You note. In this day and age of zipping quick text and emails, the art of putting paper to pin is a tradition that needs to be kept alive.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      It is a great idea, isn’t it? If everyone here starts sharing it around, maybe we can bring back the art of showing gratitude and putting pen to paper.

      Thanks for adding your voice, morrisau

  • Nero says:

    I grew up in a household in which Santa was encouraged. It was always fun, and it kept bringing us together. It’s not about if Santa’s real or not, it’s about the family. Family activities bring the family together, especially on this family holiday. That’s why I gotta agree with angeldrb.

  • Anna T says:

    You know, I had never thought of doing this before, but it is a fabulous idea! I mean, why not thank Santa? We try to raise children to have good manners, and they wake up on Christmas morning with a pile of toys to play with that they believe Santa brought them. Teaching them to thank Santa goes along with teaching good manners.

    I think this coming Christmas I will tell my kids to create a thank you note for Santa Claus.

  • snrm says:

    I guess I am a bad person about this as well because I have never thought of this idea! Kids always send Santa letters demanding what they want but once they open their presents they instantly forget who got the presents for them in the first place! Or at least who they believe got them the presents. When I have kids I will definitely be trying this idea to teach them good manners.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I don’t think we’d call you a bad person for not thinking of this (especially if you don’t have kids to have taught anyway!) but glad to have you agreeing with the idea of good manners.

  • Veronica Dean says:

    I have my sons first letter to santa still which I wrote for him for the Christmas before he turned two and he told me everything he wanted written down.

    I think it would be a great idea for there to be a website you could send a list to santa and everything on the list would be wrapped and shipped in time for christmas. Just a thought.

  • Rachel says:

    I have actually never thought of this idea either. I actually think it’s a brilliant idea! I am not sure why people would look at you strange for doing it. I think it’s sweet and thoughtful. I may even consider doing this in the future!

  • Kayde says:

    I have never thought about writing a thank you note to Santa, but I love that idea! It is such a great way to remind everyone the importance of being grateful. I will definitely have to do that this coming Christmas.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Thanks for your comment, Kayde. And great to have another person thanking Santa this year – I bet he will be very pleased to get more ethers after Christmas (and let’s face, he probably has more time for reading then!)

  • proxpromo says:

    Wow, I must say this is nothing I have ever even considered. I have a 3 year old daughter and starting this year we will definately be doing this together. She already has really good manners and always says please and thank you but writing a letter to Santa thanking him? There are even more lessons to be learnt here.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Well done on having a well mannered 3 year old, Proxpromo – that takes effort and not everyone bothers. Hope she enjoys writing to Santa later this year 🙂

  • Riley says:

    I never really thought about it, but sending thank you letters to Santa really does make sense. After all, you would send a letter to a friend or relative who sent you a gift for your birthday or other occasion. It also sounds like a great way to get kids more involved and make them appreciative of the things they receive. I don’t think it’s weird at all, on the contrary.

  • twinsmommy says:

    My children always write thank you letters to Santa. They have been taught that it is good manners to write a thank you note whenever someone gives you a gift and Santa is no different. We make it a family thing and the kids have a great time doing it. They write(now that they are older) and draw pictures. I never get arguments out of them whenever they have to write thank you notes because we have always made it fun.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      Fantastic to hear, twinsmommy! With a decreasing number of people knowing how to write thank you notes, your story makes me feel good – thank you 🙂

  • M_Marie34 says:

    One time, my Dad dressed up as Santa (when we were all little) and then he set up a video camera so we could “catch Santa in the act” when he came to fill our stockings. But there was one dead-giveaway… my Dad was wearing his wedding ring, and I noticed it!! I never said anything to my little brothers because I didn’t want to ruin it for them. And yes, we all still wrote “Santa” a thank you letter for his gifts and his….visit. 😉

  • Fren says:

    Hello SarahK – I think that writing thank you letters is a huge part of the Christmas spirit. My parents taught us to write thank you’s and, like you, they made it a fun Boxing day activity. My daughter was only 4 months old on her first Christmas – her dad and I had fun making thank you cards with her hand print – we told her what we were doing and she was quite happy to let us do most of the work! The next year the cards contained her scribbles – and again we all had such fun. Each year the cards got a little more sophisticated. She’s now 28 and she still writes to thank people for her Christmas and birthday presents. She tends to use new technology for friends of her generation – but she is careful to send “real” world paper and ink thank yous to people who either do not use or would not appreciate a virtual thank you. I think that it’s a given that, should she have children, they will learn to enjoy sending thank you cards.

    And isn’t it lovely to receive them ?

    • Santa's Elf says:

      That’s fantastic Fren. I love that you even did this when your daughter was 4 months old and made such a family tradition of it! What a beautiful thing to do, and obviously it has stuck if she continues it at 28 🙂

  • StacyLynn says:

    Honestly, I wasn’t made to write a thank you letter to Santa, so I never thought about it. It’s a wonderful idea. I think that people take so much for granted and sending a thank you letter would be a reminder to the kids that they should be thankful for the gifts that they received. I think that from here on out that I will be having the kids do this. Not only to Santa, but to anyone that gets them a gift. Thanks for the great idea.

    • Santa's Elf says:

      I agree, StacyLynn – it is so simple but so important to teach kids (and adults!) to show appreciation and be grateful for what they get. And thank you letters are easy to manage.

  • pocs says:

    The baby’s hand print was a clever and beautiful addition to your thank you notes. My children never wrote thank yous to Santa , I wish I had thought of it, it would have been a great addition to our holiday traditions. But I do have grandchildren on the way. I see something new being added to our holiday traditions list this year!

  • Fren says:

    It was our kids themselves who added Father Christmas to their thank you letters list. To be honest, and to our shame, we hadn’t thought of including him! It was the year our oldest was about 4 or 5 and we sat down on Boxing Day to write our thank you’s (which mainly consisted of finger painted cards at that time) – I read through the list of people we needed to write to and he said “and Father Christmas of course, silly!” And, of course, I was silly to have forgotten such an important person.

  • benjaminsmom says:

    Aww what a great tradition to start! I am ashamed to say I never even thought of it, and no one I know has mentioned doing it. I think it will be a new tradition we add this year. I have to say I am really enjoying your posts and all the inspiration you are giving me! I have a feeling this will be our best Christmas yet with your help! <3

    • Santa's Elf says:

      It is a great tradition and I’m glad you’ll be making use of it, benjaminsmom.

      I am very touched that you think we’ll make this your best Christmas yet – thankyou for such lovely words. Thank you.

  • Lisa Jean Hawkins says:

    I have not tried this but I do like the idea. I think this year my son will write his first thank you note to Santa. I think it will teach him respect and manners. Thanks for the idea!

  • Charlene says:

    I never knew noone did this but it could be a good thing to say thanks, even to Santa. But what do I tell me kids to write – just ‘thanks’ on a page looks a bit boring.

  • Trissandra says:

    My children write “thank you” letters too 🙂 I think it’s only natural to thank Santa for presents. It shows great respect and gratitude.

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