There are 11 months of the year when anyone driving through this area would think they’re in another one of Idaho’s ghost towns. But in December? It becomes an unlikely destination for travelers both in the Gem State and from other areas across the country! 

We’re talking about a tiny little area in unincorporated Benewah County. About 15 miles from St. Maries, you’ll find the post office for zip code “83866.” People travel from near and far to the unassuming building with dozens of Christmas cards or letters to Santa in tow. They know that if they mail their cards here, they’ll get postmarked with a stamp that reads “Santa, Idaho.” 

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It’s a postmark so coveted that if you search for “Santa, Idaho” on eBay, you’ll find folks selling postcards with the cancellation mark for anywhere from $3 to almost $40! This particular postcard doesn’t just have the “Santa” postmark. It’s also dated Christmas Day 1940. 

eBay/The Wyncote Estate
eBay/The Wyncote Estate

It looks a bit plain. The postmark for 83866 has evolved and gotten more festive as the years went on. KREM, KTVB’s sister station in Spokane, did a profile on what it’s like at the Santa, Idaho Post Office in December back in 2019. If you look closely, you’ll notice that it has a little picture of Santa on it! 

The itty bitty town doesn’t just people smile with its postmark, it's cashed in on its name. Why? How? And how did the town get its name in the first place? Keep reading to find out and discover all the Christmas-named towns you’ll find in Idaho and its neighboring states!

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