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SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (WEHT) While many people are decorating Christmas trees or the outside of their homes, some are traveling to Santa Claus, Indiana to decorate their mail. 

Starting today, people can get the annual Christmas postmark at the local post office.

One of the things that’s needed before Christmas cards can be mailed out is a post mark. Here in Santa Claus, the Santa Claus Picture Postmark that started being used today not only gets that mail out, but also gets people into the holiday spirit.

“It’s tradition,” said Marcia Blankenship of Evansville.

It’s an annual tradition for some.

“Every year, we come and mail our Christmas cards with a stamp,” said Blankenship.

It’s worth a trip that takes several hours for others.

“Drove almost three hours,” said Len McCulloch, who drove from Mount Juliet, Tennessee.

“About 115 miles,” said Jim Harness of Crawford County, Illinois.

All to get a special postmark during this special time of year.

“I do it every year,” said Cheryl Bailey, the postmaster for the USPS branch in Santa Claus.

“Everybody likes it. It’s rare. Not too many people take the time to do this. The people who live in town are lucky it’s here. For us who live out of town. It’s unique,” Harness said.

The Santa Claus Postmark’s been issued at the post office for nearly four decades as it sees up to a half million pieces of mail in December. 

“Not only do people come and drive a distance, they also mail their cards. So, we get 20-30 packages a day that are filled with Christmas Cards that are already stamped, then we postmark it for those people.  We even get some from out of the country,” said Bailey.

This year’s postmark was designed by a recent graduate of Heritage Hills High School as part of an annual contest at the school.

“Oh, I love this year’s design. We were just talking about how cute it is. It’s very festive,” said Jill Heseman of Evansville.

The postmark also brings back special memories for some mail senders.

“We can remember Christmas past when we had Santa Claus and all the trees and going to Grandma’s house. Coming up here and getting the postmark gets that memory going again,” McCulloch recalled.

People can get the Santa Claus Picture Postmark here at the post office from now until Christmas Eve.

(This story was originally published on December 1, 2021)