With the holidays just around the corner the post office is seeing more mail than usual. Many of those letters are addressed to the North Pole for a very special man by the name of Santa.
Children have been sending letters to Santa for years but it was not until 1912 that the Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock approved postal employees to respond to the letters. This program became known as “Letters to Santa”.
According to the United States Postal Service website “hundreds of thousands of children of all ages send letters to “Santa Claus, North Pole, Alaska,” every year. Unless these letters have a complete Alaska address, they stay in the area where they were mailed.” Postal “elves” sort through the letters for ones that show serious need. These are then available for “adoption” through the USPS.
Looking through past issues of the Union newspaper there are many “Letters to Santa” that were published throughout the years. It is entertaining to read the children’s letters and to see what the popular toys were over the years.
My name is Margaret Virginia Folck but they all call me Jinney and I am 4 years old. I want you to please bring me a doll that goes to sleep and a buggy, some dishes and a little stove also a Christmas tree and lots of candy and nuts. I’ll be a good girl till you come.
Dear Old Santa,
My little sister and I know you are a very busy man now and are going to write our letter together. My sister wants a dolly with brown eyes that goes to sleep and with long curly hair, a dolly buggy, a wrist watch, a pair of roller skates and a pair of shoes. I want a bb gun and a pair of shoes and don’t forget lots of candy and nuts. We wish you the happiest Xmas you have ever had. Your little friends,
Louis and Dorothy Miles, December 1920
Dear Santa Claus,
I am a little boy and I will be 7 yrs old the 23rd of this month. I would like to have a cowboy suit, tricycle, wagon, a big red ball, Mickey Mouse, a tool chest, train, typewriter, football and a drum. Wishing you a Merry Christmas. Please don’t forget to bring me some candy, nuts, and fruit.
Your little friend,
Donnie Gene Hill, December 1936
Dear Santa Claus,
Would you please bring me an Indian Suit, Streamline Train, a violin and a game. I would like for you to bring me some candy, nuts, and fruit.
Your little friend,
Jimmy Dodd, December 1936
I want a cowboys suit and a pair of boots, a hand car, candy and nuts. That’s all this time. I’m five years old and go to afternoon kindergarten at Washington School. Your old friend Jack Fluke. P.S. Please bring my little brother Joe a play black Scottie dog and anything else a boy one and a half years old would like.
Please bring me a doll that laughs and cries a new coat and snow suit.
Barbra, December 1941
Maybe things haven’t changed that much over the years. Remember the gifts that gave you the most joy to find under the tree. Toys like trains, bicycles and dolls are still popular gifts. Children still write letters to Santa today. Not all parents can afford to provide the things their children want for Christmas. This is your opportunity to play Santa for underprivileged local children.
The museum is accepting donations of unwrapped toys for the 2013 Annual Toy Run until December 20th. We cannot accept stuffed animals due to allergies. These toys will be taken to City Cycle Sales where they will be distributed to children in the USD 475 area. While you are at the museum venture upstairs to the auditorium and view the new “Playtime” exhibit. This interactive exhibit features toys from the turn of the century to current toys.
All donations of toys and monetary donations are welcome. Any donation over $10 or a toy of $10 value will be eligible for a 15% off coupon at City Cycle Sales for the purchase of one part or accessory.
The museum is open Tuesday- Sunday from 1-4pm. Please contact the museum at 785-238-1666 with any questions.
December 1955: Here he comes kids! It’s the jolly old fellow himself, headed for the chimneys of Junction City’s homes with a load of toys for good girls and boys. Here, he approaches the rooftop of the C.W. Flower home at 405 West Seventh Street. Photo courtesy of North Pole Photo Service.