Police in Abbotsford, B.C., are trying a new tactic this holiday season to get chronic criminals to turn their lives around — Christmas cards featuring a Santa Claus dressed like a member of a SWAT team.

The Santa figure is wearing a bulletproof vest and a helmet marked "Police," and wielding an automatic rifle.

The text on the front of the card reads, "Which list will you be on next year?"

In an effort dubbed Operation Resolution, officers will send out the greeting cards to prolific offenders in the hope they will have an epiphany, said Const. Ian Macdonald.

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Some repeat offenders in the Abbotsford, B.C., area will be getting a card from police this Christmas. (Abbotsford Police Department)

"We're hoping that either through the helpline phone number contained in the card or just based on their own reflection that some of these individuals will make a different choice — for different behaviour come 2013," MacDonald said.

He said this is the first year the department is trying the jolly new approach.

He said several dozen people will be getting the cards in the mail.