Letter To Santa Claus From The 19th Century

The following is a letter to Santa Claus written by a young girl, first published in The Sidney Daily News, December 21, 1898:

Dear Santa,

I thought I would drop you a few lines and tell you a few things what I want. Well, I want a pair of skates, because I think by the time Christmas comes it will be frozen up. And for another thing, I want a pair of leggings so that it will keep my feet warm and I want them so that they will come up above my shoe-tops, and I want a little slate like those that have pictures of cats and rabbits and dogs on and like those that are almost like a slate, and if it don’t cost too much I would like a large doll, so large that it would look about four years old. I will tell you where to find it.

If you look in the basement of the Arcade on the place where the dolls are, you will see a large doll with real long curly hair and it is jointed and it is as pretty as I am. And I don’t think I want much, but dear Santa, I know that I want more than you can afford to give, for there are more little boys and girls and they want something too. But I would like to have so much a nice tricycle that would cost three dollars and that is too much, I think, to pay for anything, but that is really the price of it because I saw the price on it and it said $3.00 as plain as this letter is written and I think it is written pretty plain. Well Santa, I must close because it is getting late and I think if I don’t close you will not bring me anything. I have got as much as I can think of.

Goodbye, dear Santa.

Jeannette E. Linn,
509 south Walnut avenue.

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

26 thoughts on “Letter To Santa Claus From The 19th Century

  1. Hilarious and adorable… especially the part where she changes ‘want’ to ‘would like’ ….
    reminds me of a letter my son wrote to Father Christmas about ten years ago (he’s 17 now). He wrote a short and specific list, and gave it to me to post “can you please put a stamp on it mummy?” …..
    he had included a £5 note to go ‘towards’ it!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I want, I want, I want. There’s a charming innocence in here that masks real issues with the commercialisation of most holidays now eh? 🙂 Have a great Christmas!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am amazed by how many people are so delighted with this little girl. Just the skates and the tricycle would add to more than I could afford today. It is obvious that we inherited our consumerism from a century ago.Or am I just an old Grinch!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think that it hugely depends on the child’s circumstances. During my childhood, my folks couldn’t even afford a toy tricycle so I didn’t really expect any gift during Christmas except for a new set of clothes and sometimes, a pair of shoes. That’s a big deal back then since that’s the only time I got new clothes. So, every time someone gives me a little present (simple toys, food, etc.), I’d be very happy and grateful.


    1. More people enjoy more priviledges these days. During my childhood, I didn’t really expect anything except for a new set of clothes (which I only get every Christmas) since my folks couldn’t afford anything else. If you barely have anything, you’d appreciate the simplest things.


  4. One of the best articles for this Christmas and to bring back the old memories.its an amazing letter to Santa the sweet charming wish granter. We dnt get the old days back but memories bring smiles to every one who read it. I remember my childhood days while reading this article. Thank you for posting it. Truly lovable post. Also wishing all readers and you a merry christmas and happy holidays. Cheers.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Yes life always like a cyclic process and we remember the past when some thing touch back newly and its like a flash back lightening. Thank you .i am always reading all your postings and i will expect more sensational news ahead too. God bless all and merry christmas


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