Santa freebies 2022
Free letters from Santa, track Santa on Christmas Eve, personalised Santa videos and more
With Christmas a few weeks away, there are plenty of Santa-centric freebies about, designed to up the fun factor in the run-up to the big day.
You can track Santa's magic-infused, moonlit journey to the homes of good children across the world online on Christmas Eve, and right now you can send free personalised Santa videos.
Free personalised letters from Santa
For a suggested £8 donation to the NSPCC, you can personalise a letter from Santa for a loved one. There's eight themes to choose from, including ‘Baby’s first Christmas’ and ‘Christmas PJ party’.
The deadline for ordering your letter via post has now passed
Donations support children in need by providing services like Childline. The letter, available in English or Welsh, will arrive in the post in time for Christmas. You can also order a letter online and the deadline for this is Thursday 8 December.
Each year, Santa's elves at the Royal Mail can help you get a free letter from Santa, if you write to him by early December.
The deadline for posting your letter has now passed
Royal Mail told us the deadline is 11.59pm on Friday 9 December, but advised that sooner is better for a good chance of getting a reply.
Technically, it isn't 100% free as you'll need to post your letter to Santa with a stamp (95p first class, 68p second). Just remember to include full names and address, so Santa knows where to send his reply.
It's also worth remembering things can go wrong, for instance when demand is very high, as we reported a few years ago in our Royal Mail fails to deliver news story. Royal Mail says it can't guarantee a reply, even if you've sent your letter nice and early.
So while a nice festive freebie, it's a good idea to prep kids for disappointment (just in case) by reminding them Santa's very busy – so may not write back to everyone. If this is the case, or you can't wait for Santa's reply, you can download a card for free, too.
Where to send your letters
Pop it in the post with a stamp on (remember the deadline is Friday 9 December), and address it to: Santa/Father Christmas, Santa's Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ.
Or in Welsh: Sion Corn, Ogof Sion Corn, Gwlad Y Ceirw, XM4 5HQ.
Each year, Santa has some elves at the Royal Institute of Blind People (RNIB), who help him respond to children who are blind or partially-sighted. Simply fill in the free application form online to receive a Braille or large print letter, or audio CD from Santa.
The deadline for Braille, audio CD and large print letters has now passed
If you've missed the postal deadline, you've an extra couple of weeks to send your letter by email and receive an email reply with a large print attachment. The deadline for email is Tuesday 20 December. Santa's RNIB email address is email@example.com.
Read more at the RNIB. Some of previous years' letters gave Martin leaky eyes. See them on his blog: Read letters from blind children to Santa.
Personalised Santa videos
Now live: Portable North Pole free video
Each year, a website called Portable North Pole lets you send friends or family a free personalised video message from Santa – incredibly cute for kids to receive and potentially hilarious for grown-ups to exchange. It'll ask you to upload photos of yourself and the recipient, plus a picture of the gift they'd most like to receive for Christmas. We've heard reports of this not working for some users who've created one before, but that they tried again a few weeks later and it worked.
This year's free videos are now available, so click the link above to tailor yours
It only takes a few minutes to set up. Here's a still from one we made for Martin a couple of years ago:
IMPORTANT: The link above takes you to a range of videos on Portable North Pole – some are free, some cost money. So make sure you're looking at the free options if you don't want to pay – if at any point you're asked to enter payment info, go back and try again.
Track Santa on Christmas Eve
Starts 24 December: Free Norad Santa online tracking
Each year, free website Norad Santa opens its doors at the start of December to let families track Santa's progress as he visits the homes of good boys and girls on Christmas Eve.
There's even a free mobile app (available for iOS and Android) so you can check on Santa's whereabouts while on the move yourself.
While the location tracking element is only on Christmas Eve itself (Santa's exact location is top secret until then), there's a virtual Santa's Village for kids to explore right now – full of games, videos and music to keep them entertained in the lead up to Christmas.
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