Letters to Santa
By Ken K. Gourdin
Today’s Deseret News has an article about funny and touching letters children have sent to Santa over the years. It is available here, and was last accessed today: http://www.deseretnews.com/top/2143/1/-Dear-Santa-Funny-and-touching-Christmas-letters-from-children-in-the-1800s-1900s.html. With Shirley Temple, I simply hope that Santa will “give all the boys and girls”—big and little, young and old—“the best Christmas ever.”
I’m also partial to the boy who tells Santa that he loves him “next to God” and asks him “if God don’t mind, bring me a billygote.” Dad often tells us the story of the gentleman for whom he and my Uncle Bob had spent a day picking fruit offering them either the monetary sum he had previously agreed upon with my grandfather . . . or a goat; their thinking it would be neat to have the latter; and so accepting the goat—only to be greatly disappointed at having my grandfather put the kibosh on the deal by forcing them to return the goat and collect the money, instead.
If I had sufficient means, I would be glad to stand in for Santa and give all of the poor children whose families find themselves in dire circumstances the Christmas they had hoped for. One hopes that, at least in some cases, such letters touched the heart of anyone who might have read them with a similar impulse—although finding “Ned in Chicago” certainly is a tall order. Heartbreakingly, one girl writes, “Please don’t forget me like you did last year.”
One touching letter from Little Florence doesn’t ask anything for herself, but rather for two children whose father is out of work and whose “Mama washes for my Mama. The little girl wood like a doll and the little boy anything you will give him.” (I certainly hope Florence’s Mama saw that letter and perhaps intervened for Santa!)
As an interesting sidenote, Virginia Douglas, nee O’Hanlon, who later became a school principal in New York, made an appearance earlier on the blog thanks to her famous letter to the New York Sun inquiring as to whether Santa is real, makes an appearance in the photos that accompany the letters.
May Santa bring you and yours what you’re hoping for this year—but most of all, may we remember the real reason for the season.