USPS customer tries to donate items for its Operation Santa program

@carleediy/TikTok Ron Adar/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I don’t wanna do any more nice things ever’: USPS customer tries to donate items for its Operation Santa program. She’s shocked by the shipping cost

'Next year I'm doing the Angel Tree instead...sorry.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Dec 9, 2023   Updated on Dec 10, 2023, 12:03 pm CST

Every year, the USPS engages in a program it calls Operation Santa. As the post office gets numerous letters addressed to Santa annually, this allows those in the giving spirit to answer those letters by providing the senders with gifts.

While this is a nice initiative, it may cost you more than you originally thought, as TikTok user Carlee (@carleediy) recently discovered.

“You guys, I don’t want to do any more nice things ever,” she jokes at the beginning of her video, which documents her experience with Operation Santa. The video currently has over 397,000 views as of Saturday.

According to Carlee, her initial surprise came when she discovered the amount she would have to pay for shipping.

“I went to ship my USPS Operation Santa package, and they were going to charge me $72 to ship it,” she says. This high price, she discovered, is due to Operation Santa’s requirement that items be shipped with Priority Shipping, which is not the cheapest option available via USPS.

Seeing this price, Carlee decided to take the boxes back home and repack them into smaller Priority Shipping boxes.



♬ original sound – Carlee

“I was like, I’ll repackage it into two Priority boxes and it’ll be cheaper to ship,” she says. “Now, here are my two boxes, and they’re, like, jammed full—and not everything is even packed!”

“I knew I was going to have to pay for shipping. I’m not surprised about having to pay, but $72, it seems like a lot, OK?” she continues. “You have to ship Priority. You can’t ship on your own. Next year I’m doing the Angel Tree instead of Operation USPS Santa, sorry.” The Angel Tree is a similar initiative from The Salvation Army.

Eventually, she was able to ship the items for $45, as she shared in a follow-up video.

@carleediy #stitch with @Carlee update on my own Operation Santa shipping story! I got them shipped it cost $45 instead of $72 was that worth two trips to the post office idk 😭 #uspsoperationsanta #operationsanta #operationsanta2023 ♬ original sound – Carlee

In the comments section, users shared their own experiences with USPS’ Operation Santa.

“I did it one year…. $100 in shipping for 2 different letters… and repackaged 3 times because it also has to fit their dimensions,” recalled a user.

“I signed up but after going thru maybe 30 lists with iphones and ps5 I gave up,” added another.

“I’m in Oklahoma, and the lists for locally were insane. Gucci backpacks, one kid wanted 2 iPhones,” detailed a third. “I was like well nvm.”

The Daily Dot reached out to USPS via email and Carlee via Instagram direct message.

Update Dec. 10, 2023: In an email to the Daily Dot, USPS spokesperson Sue Brennan wrote the following: “USPS Operation Santa is 111 years old this year. It’s only been digital nationwide since 2020. It was built on the Priority Mail platform. There might be a time we offer other shipping options. We offer tips to lessen shipping costs on the website, including using Priority Mail flat rate boxes, adopting letters from the same state the adopter lives in, sending gift cards, etc.”

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*First Published: Dec 9, 2023, 8:00 am CST