Writing Strategy: Letters to Santa

In American tradition, during the weeks prior to Christmas Eve, children all over the world write letters to Santa Claus telling him what they want as gifts. In addition, children also list what good deeds they have done to merit a gift from Santa. As the holiday season is approaching, you can write your own letter to Santa using these guidelines for a standard letter.

  1. Date
    The date is convenient for the recipient to know when you wrote the letter. The date is usually written in the top right corner of the letter. In the United States, it is common to write the date month day, year. Today's date would be written as follows:
    December 9, 2011
  2. Greeting
    Choose an appropriate greeting, like Dear, followed by the recipient's name and a comma. If the recipient has a title, like Dr. or Mrs., the write that before the last name. The greeting should be written on the left side of the page.
    A greeting to Mrs. Smith might look like this:
    Dear Mrs. Smith,
  3. Opening Paragraph
    The opening paragraph generally states the purpose of the letter. In a letter to Santa, you may want to tell him if you have been a good boy or girl. Then you may tell him that you are writing to ask for specific gifts for Christmas.
  4. Body Paragraph
    The body of the paragraph adds details and examples that illustrate statements in the opening paragraph. For example, if you tell Santa in your opening paragraph that you have been a good boy or girl this year, give examples of your good deeds in the body. Additionally, you could list a few of the gifts you want for Christmas.
  5. Closing Paragraph
    The closing paragraph generally calls the recipient to action. For example, in a letter to Santa, you may tell Santa that you look forward to his visit on Christmas Eve. Other types of letters may invite the recipient to write you back.
  6. Closing
    Choose an appropriate closing, like Love, Sincerely, Your friend, Respectfully, or Best regards, depending on the formality of the letter. A letter to Santa might fall somewhere between formal and informal, so a closing like Sincerely may be the most appropriate. Place a comma after the closing, then sign your name under it.
    A letter from John Smith might look like this:
    John Smith

  7. Address the Envelope
    In the United States, standard addresses use the following format:
    Name of recipient
    Address (number, then street)
    City, State Zip

    In a letter to Nomen Global, the address looks like this:
    Nomen Global Language Centers
    384 W Center Street
    Provo, UT 84601
The process for writing a letter is the generally the same for formal and informal letters, but the content will vary. Here is an example of a letter to Santa:

Santa Claus
1 Reindeer Lane
North Pole

December 9, 2011
Dear Santa,

This year has been difficult, but I have worked very hard and have been very good. Since I have been a good girl this year, I am writing to tell you about some of the gifts I would like for Christmas.

While I have been studying English at Nomen Global, I have spoken only English! I have done my homework every day and I have gotten As on all of my tests. I have made many friends this year because I have been very kind to everyone I have met. I invite my friends to my house often to serve them my favorite dishes from my country. This year, I would really like new books in English. I would also like more English music.

I am looking forward to your visit on Christmas Eve. I hope that you travel safely with the reindeer and that you have a chance to visit all of my friends. Thank you for always bringing me nice gifts.


Jane Smith

To learn more about Nomen Global and our writing classes, visit our website.

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