Sunday, April 20, 2014

Dear Santa: Funny and touching Christmas letters from children in the 1800s, 1900s (30 items)

By , Deseret News

Dec. 18, 2013

Letters to Santa Claus have a magical Christmas power all their own — they share a child's hopes and dreams, contain wishes innocent enough to draw tears, and even save the day in the classic holiday film, "Miracle on 34th Street."

Here's a look at letters sent to Santa Claus and addressed to places ranging from Snow Land, North Land and Ice Land (Chicago Daily Tribune, 1901) to Sleigh Drawn by Eight Reindeers, High up in the sky over New York City, Reindeer Street and even a rather specific 2732 Ice Street, Frigid Zone, North Pole (The New York Times, 1874 and 1932).

Each of these letters was sent to or collected by newspapers from across the United States in the late 1800s and early-to-mid 1900s, and then published.

Many of the letters contained here were answered by kindly souls acting with the impulses of the jolly old elf himself.

1 of 30.

I am a bright-eyed little boy and am trying to be good so that you will remember me on Christmas morning. I would like very much to have a bayonet, a gun, a sword, a sled, a watch, and a chain, a pair of rubber boots, a snow shovel, some books, a slate, some nice warm stockings, a little penknife, a candy cane, and a pair of mittens. I hope you will not think I am asking for too many things, for I do not wish to be thought greedy. Mamma sends love, and hopes you will remember her, too.

Dickie Burton

Bangor Whig and Courier
December 20, 1877

>> Shirley Temple is writing to Santa Claus and her letter just asks him to give all the boys and girls the best Christmas ever, Dec. 6, 1936, Hollywood, Calif.

2 of 30.

Please bring me a dolly. And please, Mr. Santa, bring it up the steem-heeter and not down the chimney, so she won't get her hair burned.

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 22, 1901

>> Santa Claus welcomes East German border guard Hartmut Schmidt, right, at checkpoint Potsdamer Platz, Nov. 30, 1989.

3 of 30.

Dear Saint Nicholas,
I love you next to God. So please, if God don't mind, bring me a billygote

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 22, 1901

>> A group of Santas stroll down New York's 42nd Street, after they finished a refresher training course on how-to-be a Santa Claus, on November 20, 1984.

4 of 30.

Dear Santa Claus:
My sister and brother are very glad to hear that we will get some presents anyhow. The fact is that my papa is out of work and we did not expect to get anything for Christmas. My brother, 7 years old, wants a Teddy bear; Molly wants a pair of skates, aged 9 years; Kitty wants a toy grocery store, aged 7, and Katherine, aged 6, wants a Teddy bear. If I am not asking too much of you, I would like a pair of skates. My age is 13 years of age. If I am not asking too much and hope you will not forget us.

We remain, your firm believers,
The ------- family

The New York Times
December 20, 1907

>> Santa Claus, also known as Patrick Farmer, at Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska.

5 of 30.

Dear St. Nicholas,
Bring me a tin horn. My grandma says she is afraid I will wake her up with it, but I promise not to. I would also like a gocart. Yours affectionately, Willie

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 22, 1901

>> Santa Claus, war style, with helmet and pistol as well as beard, emerges from a General Grant tanks at the English headquarters of an American army unit in England, Dec. 27, 1942 to give presents to local schoolchildren for whom the tank crews of the unit held a party on December 15. Santa is Sergeant Hiram Prouty, of Baltimore, Md.
1. Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK,
Dec. 19, 2013

This was really interesting. I like seeing how small children wrote and thought during a time that was so long ago, yet not very long ago at all.

2. perfidemintrepidus
Riverton, UT,
Dec. 19, 2013

Children from earlier days had very good manners! I really enjoyed reading this article and would hope that kids today would emulate the same level of respect and humility.

3. Midwest Mom
Soldiers Grove, WI,
Dec. 19, 2013

I find nothing endearing about stacks of old mail that were sent because children were taught a lie. I taught my children that Santa Clause was a story and not a real person. I don't think that the pure faith of a child should be toyed with. There is enough wonder and magic in learning how to be good, giving towards others and having faith in God. Let them address their pleas to Him. It's a shame that so many children lose faith in faith because they were set up, when they were little. Their credulity should not be seen as a source for adult entertainment. The wonder of the birth of the Savior and how His atonement can change our lives is enough. The myth of Santa Clause is it's own "war on Christmas."