Letters to Santa

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Lisa Rogers, a 354th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster apprentice, reaches for a letter Nov. 22, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Rogers and the weather flight send out hundreds of letters from Santa each year to children all around the world as part of the “Santa’s Mailbag” program which started more than 60 years ago. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Lisa Rogers, a 354th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster apprentice, reaches for a letter Nov. 22, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Rogers and the weather flight send out hundreds of letters from Santa each year to children all around the world as part of the “Santa’s Mailbag” program which started more than 60 years ago. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Lisa Rogers, a 354th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster apprentice, holds a letter to Santa, Nov. 22, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Letters come from all over the world and the weather flight acts as Santa’s elves, sending letters back to children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Lisa Rogers, a 354th Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster apprentice, holds a letter to Santa, Nov. 22, 2016, at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Letters come from all over the world and the weather flight acts as Santa’s elves, sending letters back to children. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

The snow is falling, the roads are icy, and a chill is in the air as the excitement of the holiday season settles in while children everywhere prepare to send their letters to Santa Claus.

After the tree is trimmed, the stockings are hung and hot cocoa is made, children sit down to write their wish lists and send them to Santa’s workshop.

The 354th Operations Support Squadron’s weather flight “elves” receive hundreds of letters each year, and acting on behalf of the “Big Guy,” send letters back to the children who write. They will even send out late post letters to children’s whose lists got delivered after the holidays.

“Children send out their letters to Santa and we send them letters back,” said Airman 1st Class Lisa Rogers, a 354th OSS weather forecaster apprentice. “You never know where a letter is going to come from.”

Santa’s Mailbag was started in 1954 by a group of Airmen with the 58th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. The Airmen wanted to assist the post office by responding to letters they received for Santa; more than 60 years later the program is still going strong.

“It feels nice to send letters to the kids,” said Rogers. “We live so close to North Pole it would be a shame if we didn’t do something like this.”

Those wishing to send letters are encouraged to send a self-addressed and stamped envelope along with their letter to help defray the cost for the weather flight. Donations are always accepted to help with those who aren’t able to send an extra envelope.

 “It’s a great way to boost morale,” said Master Sgt. Melody Goode, the 354th OSS weather flight chief. “It’s great to spread the good will and cheer of the holidays to the children of the world.”

To send a letter to Santa, please address it to:

Santa’s Mailbag

2827 Flightline Ave. Suite 100B

354th OSS/OSW

Eielson AFB AK 99702-1520