Project Christmas was a CIA black ops program from the 1970's developed by Jack Bristow to train children as sleeper agents to be used as future spies. The project included a test which was hidden in standardized tests given to American children (1982 California Achievement Test?). Upon reviewing the children's performance on the test, which includes topics such as spatial acuity, the appropriate candidates will be selected and continue onto the next phase of the project.
Jack Bristow was the project manager. He later personally trained his daughter Sydney Bristow once he had realized that his wife, Laura Bristow, had in fact been a member of the KGB. He did so with the intention that his daughter never be recruited by the KGB.
Irina Derevko was specifically sent to the United States to marry Jack Bristow to steal information about Project Christmas for the KGB to develop the same project in the early 1980's. A Triad crime syndicate later acquired the company doing the testing and added a series of questions designed to locate children and these traits. Their parents were sent letters inviting them to participate in a month-long achievement program as cover for the training.
As six year olds acquired knowledge at an incredible rate the basic skills of marksmanship, linguistics and visual cue recognition can all be taught in a matter of weeks. At the end of the month the kids' memories are erased and they're sent home with the intent that when they're grown up they will contact these kids and send them out to the field. All the children remember about their "achievement program" is it was both very satisfying and rewarding. (The Indicator)