Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ho Ho Ho

It is the time of the year again to join more than 10,000 Santa lookalikes to run 5K or walk 1 mile in the annual Great Santa Run in Las Vegas, Nevada, and get a special postmark on your mail from Santa Claus Station, Santa Claus, Indiana.

In its 10th anniversary at downtown Las Vegas, the Great Santa Run, is a fundraiser event for Opportunity Village, a nonprofit organization founded 60 years ago in 1954 that serves almost 3,000 people with intellectual disabilities with vocational training, employment opportunities, enrichment services and other supports. (Update: the number of runners in 2014 was tallied as 8725)

The Great Santa Run in Las Vegas, 2014
In Santa Claus, Indiana, the famous small-town post office Santa Claus Station, the only one in the world bearing the Santa Claus name, is offering a special pictorial postmark on holiday mail again this year, continuing a tradition since 1983. Every year, the holiday postmark is designed by a local high school art student during an annual contest. Shyann Smith, a 2014 senior at Heritage Hills High School from Fulda, Indiana won the 2014 competition. The postmark is available from December 1 to December 24.

Postmaster Marian Balbach asks anyone who requests the special cancellation to follow the 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 is available on working days between December 1 and 24;
  • The picture postmark must be requested by the postal customer;
  • To ensure a good postmark imprint, 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.

Postcard US-2452330 to Taiwan was sent in to the Santa Claus Station for its 2013 edition of the special cancellation, replacing a prior Flying Jenny card presumably lost in the mail.

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