In the early part of the 20th century, American newspapers published letters to Santa Claus collected at post offices around the country. The headlines on this example, from the Minneapolis Tribune, suggest that at least one copy editor was a bit tired of the genre.
MORE DEMANDS MADE
CHILDREN CONTINUE TO ASK FOR PRESENTS.
One Thoughtful Child Warns Santa Claus Against Trying to Come Down Chimney – Enormous Pack Needed to Meet Requests.
“Dear Santa Claus – This Christmas you cannot come through the chimly because it is to narrow and you will skrach your cheeks so we will be all up waiting for you, so please bring me a pair of skates, a bag of nuts and candy and good magic lanterns. So I think this will be all. Yours truly, Charles Wojtaszek, Ninth avenue main street northeast, number 507.”
“Dear Santa Claws: Will you please bring me an auto express wagon, ball, animal book and a suit of clothes. Please don’t forget me. I am five years old. My name is Toney and I live across the street from Shol’s grocery store.”
“dear Santa Claws please bring alice and pearl Katzenberg a bureau and a plane set of dishes and a red doll cloak and a white dress and a rocking chair and a picture book. This will be all your friend alice, 602 17th ave north.”
“Dear Santa Claus – Please bring me a new white fir for my neck and a little white muff. Also a little stove and bureau for dolly. Sincerely yours, Virginia L. Layman, 718 11th ave., S.E.”
“Dear santa Claus – I want a pair of skates and I want a pair of leggings also I can have some fun I am 8 years old and of course I want some candy and I want one or two story book and that will be all I want, and my sister Helen wants a dollie buggie and she wants a pair of shoes and a little table and a little rocking chair dollbed and that will be all and please call at 822 main street north east. John Leroy.”
These images of letters to Santa appeared in the Minneapolis Tribune on Dec. 21, 1919.
Here are a few more letters published in the Tribune in those years:
“Dear Santa Clause: This means kisses * * * * * and this means hugs 0 0 0 0 0 0. I want you to bring me a pair of skates, little table, bureau, jack-in-the-box, trunk, piano, gold ring, doll dress in pink 22 inches long candy and nuts. Your little girl, ETHEL ANDERSON, 1900 G. Street northeast.” – Dec. 16, 1906
“Dear Santa: -- I am a little boy eight years old and I am going to write you a letter and tell you what I wood like you to bring me four Christmas. I want a drum, a nice big one, I want some games a game of Flinch. I want a pair of cowboy mittens. Now dear Santa bring me these and I know you will cause you always are good to me. We’ll leave the front door open cause the chimney is full of sut. I live at 2114 Thirteenth avenue south good by – Arnold Hendrickson.” – Dec. 23, 1906
“Dear Santa Claus: This is Harold’s and Dumpy’s letter to Santa Claus. Harold wants mittens, horn and new suit of clothes and Dumpy wants a doll with a hat on and gang trains and rubber balls and this is all. I wish you a happy Xmas. HAROLD AND DUMPY.” – Dec. 17, 1908
“Dear Santa Claus, I have five sisters and one baby brother. If you have any toys left in your big bag, please remember us. For Santa Claus always forgets me and my sisters. I want it to snow so that Santa Claus will be sure and come.” – Dec. 12, 1910
Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
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