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Christmas Time Capsule: Ancestors' Letters to Santa
Find your ancestors' childhood letters to Santa Claus.


All I Want for Christmas
 Dear Editor,
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says “If you see it in The Sun it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
—Virginia O’Hanlon, 115 West 95th Street
[New York Sun, Sept. 21, 1897]
 Dear Santa Claus,
Please send me an airgun, and a tool box, a little candy and nuts. How is Mrs. Santa-Claus and your self? Do you still have your pretty reindeers or do you travel in an automobile? I remain as ever your friend.
—Raymond Waller
221 So. Weber St.
Colorado Springs
[Gazette-Telegraph, Dec. 20, 1903]
Dear Santa Claus,
Please bring me a little cook stove, table, two chairs and a large jointed doll with red hair and brown eyes with lots of nuts and fruit. Don’t forget my little nephew, James Arling, for this is just his second Xmas. He wants a rocking horse and a horn that will blow. That’s all this year. I almost forgot to tell you I was 7 and live at 1810 Fifth avenue.
Good bye, Santa.
—Jimmie Edwards
[Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 16, 1908]
Although it’s difficult to pinpoint when newspapers began publishing children’s letters to Santa, Virginia O’Hanlon’s famous 1897 letter asking “is there a Santa Claus?” no doubt triggered the trend.
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