Associated Press

Letters to Santa Claus have a magical Christmas power all their own — they share a child's hopes and dreams, contain wishes innocent enough to draw tears, and even save the day in the classic holiday film, "Miracle on 34th Street."

Here's a look at letters sent to Santa Claus and addressed to places ranging from Snow Land, North Land and Ice Land (Chicago Daily Tribune, 1901) to Sleigh Drawn by Eight Reindeers, High up in the sky over New York City, Reindeer Street and even a rather specific 2732 Ice Street, Frigid Zone, North Pole (The New York Times, 1874 and 1932).

Each of these letters was sent to or collected by newspapers from across the United States in the late 1800s and early-to-mid 1900s, and then published.

Many of the letters contained here were answered by kindly souls acting with the impulses of the jolly old elf himself.

Associated Press

I am a bright-eyed little boy and am trying to be good so that you will remember me on Christmas morning. I would like very much to have a bayonet, a gun, a sword, a sled, a watch, and a chain, a pair of rubber boots, a snow shovel, some books, a slate, some nice warm stockings, a little penknife, a candy cane, and a pair of mittens. I hope you will not think I am asking for too many things, for I do not wish to be thought greedy. Mamma sends love, and hopes you will remember her, too.

Dickie Burton

Bangor Whig and Courier
December 20, 1877

>> Shirley Temple is writing to Santa Claus and her letter just asks him to give all the boys and girls the best Christmas ever, Dec. 6, 1936, Hollywood, Calif.

Associated Press

Please bring me a dolly. And please, Mr. Santa, bring it up the steem-heeter and not down the chimney, so she won't get her hair burned.

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 22, 1901

>> Santa Claus welcomes East German border guard Hartmut Schmidt, right, at checkpoint Potsdamer Platz, Nov. 30, 1989.

Associated Press

Dear Saint Nicholas,
I love you next to God. So please, if God don't mind, bring me a billygote

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 22, 1901

>> A group of Santas stroll down New York's 42nd Street, after they finished a refresher training course on how-to-be a Santa Claus, on November 20, 1984.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Claus:
My sister and brother are very glad to hear that we will get some presents anyhow. The fact is that my papa is out of work and we did not expect to get anything for Christmas. My brother, 7 years old, wants a Teddy bear; Molly wants a pair of skates, aged 9 years; Kitty wants a toy grocery store, aged 7, and Katherine, aged 6, wants a Teddy bear. If I am not asking too much of you, I would like a pair of skates. My age is 13 years of age. If I am not asking too much and hope you will not forget us.

We remain, your firm believers,
The ------- family

The New York Times
December 20, 1907

>> Santa Claus, also known as Patrick Farmer, at Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska.

Associated Press

Dear St. Nicholas,
Bring me a tin horn. My grandma says she is afraid I will wake her up with it, but I promise not to. I would also like a gocart. Yours affectionately, Willie

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 22, 1901

>> Santa Claus, war style, with helmet and pistol as well as beard, emerges from a General Grant tanks at the English headquarters of an American army unit in England, Dec. 27, 1942 to give presents to local schoolchildren for whom the tank crews of the unit held a party on December 15. Santa is Sergeant Hiram Prouty, of Baltimore, Md.

Associated Press

Santa Clause — North Pole —
Bring Jim a drum, horn, airplane, if he is a good boy, and an elephant.

The New York Times
December 14, 1932

>> Robin Levy, 4, of Riverdale, Bronx, N.Y., walks in front of some 50 Santas on 48th Street and Eighth Avenue in New York City, Nov. 23, 1962.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Claus, State street:
I am a little girl, 7 years old, and I'm afraid that you won't call at our house, because we are so poor. Father has to work hard all day and mother is sick and says we needn't expect anything. Please when you are on the west side if you will just call and leave a little book or something I will be much obliged. You can't come down the chimney, because it is too small, but I will open the door if you knock.

Ada Butler

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 25, 1906

>> Make-A-Wish child Chaleece Leckron, 16, mails a letter to Santa at Macy's.

Associated Press

Do not use neither the first nor the second chimney. Take the one in the middle, which we do not use, and then you won't be dirty. I will put a glass of whiskey for you on the table.

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 15, 1949

>> Virginia Douglas, principal of P.S. 31 in lower Manhattan, decorates her Christmas tree in New York City on Dec. 15, 1951. When she was eight, the former Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York Sun asking, "Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?" Her letter evoked the famous Santa Claus editorial in 1897, which said, "Yes, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist."

Associated Press

I will start with what my brother, Juan, wishes. If it is not too much, he would like to get a train with signals and all that. And myself, oh yes, you know it is so difficult to make up one's mind. Oh, but even if it is a present for a boy I should so much like to get an Indian costume. I hope you do not think we are too greedy, but, as you know, children like to get everything. I should really like to ask you for more, but now it is a quarter to seven and I have got to go to bed.

Love from Francia and Juan

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 15, 1949

>> Santa Claus Capt. Raymond Jennison of a U.S. Army armored unit station “somewhere in Southern England” distributes gifts to English children with a fellow officer an interested spectator in England, Jan. 4, 1943.

Associated Press

I would like you to drop a drum and water pistol down my chimney. Will you give me a water pistol for my friend, who has no chimney?

The New York Times
December 23, 1907

>> This young Belgian child is consoled when he was frightened at meeting with Father Christmas (native Santa Claus) in a Liege, Belgium toy store, Nov. 26, 1944. An American soldier (partially concealed) holds him while a woman wipes away his tears.

Associated Press

My Dear Santa Claus
I think we are going to have a bad Christmas. My papa is home with a sore eye and my mamma has one crippled arm. We are three little sisters, dear Santa, and a baby brother. He would like to have a rocking horse and a sled. He is 3 years old. And my youngest sister wants a doll, and my 6 year old sister would like a doll also. As I am the oldest, anything will do me that you think would be nice for a little girl 8 years old. This is a little piece my papa learned me and if you will come to fill my stocking I will speak it for you:

My pap says 'twon't be no use
For me to go ahead
And hang my stocking up this year,
For Santa Claus is dead.
I'm just as sorry as can be and
Papa's sorry some;
'Twon't be like Christmas time at all
If Santa does not come

Good-by, dear Santa Claus, and please do not forget us and God will bless you.

Your little girl,
May Dell Ormond

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 18, 1907

>> Letters addressed to Santa Claus pile up at the Post Office department of Consumer Affairs in Valencia, Calif, Dec. 18, 1996.

Associated Press

I want my billy goat to have horns so he can but, and a tale so I can pull it. And don't forget a jinguljak

Chicago Daily Tribune
Dececmber 22, 1901

>> Vincent R. Impellitteri, New York council president, dons whiskers and a Santa Claus outfit as he entertains some of the 100 disabled children who were guest of the owners of the “400 Restaurant” at a Christmas party in the Fifth Avenue restaurant in New York, Dec. 16, 1946.

Associated Press

My own dear Santa: I have been a good girl all year to get a doll carriage don't forget me please dear Santa like you did last year.

Your own little girl

The New York Times
December 20, 1907

>> Young Berliners get a treat at the U.S. Army's Tempelhof Airport in Berlin, Dec. 15, 1948. Christmas gifts from a flying Santa, Lt. John Konop of Astoria, NY. This is the first planeload of gifts to be distributed to Berlin children under the Air Forces Christmas program, Operation Santa Claus. The gifts were donated by people in the United States and flown to Berlin via the air lift.

Associated Press

This is what I want from you I want a little pair of slippers and a little bed a smaller doll, I want to put my bigger doll away, sewing box a box of writing paper and I want a sley and a big blackboard and a pair of stockings and a pair of red cotton gloves and a bottle of ink and a pen and I want a writing desk and I want a little chair and a bracelet and a locket and chain and a lovely hat with a bow in front.

From your loving playmate.
I clothes with love and kisses.

The New York Times
December 20, 1907

>> Santa Claus, played by Cpt. Ivan Shidlovsky of Colts Neck, N.J., greets two Somali women at a U.S. checkpoint in Mogadishu, Saturday, December 25, 1993.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Clause, North Pole:
Are you coming to our house this year? Mother says she thinks not. Mother is sick. Will you please bring me a train of cars. I am George Stewart, and I am 6 years old.

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 25, 1906

>> Walter O'Malley, president of the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball club, rises to shake hands with a Santa Claus that dropped in, June 26, 1961 at a meeting of National League representatives at Chicago. The St. Nick was attending a toy convention at the hotel where the baseball men are meeting.

Associated Press

All that I wish is that you will answer my letter because I am collecting stamps and I am very keen on seeing how the stamp on your letter looks.

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 15, 1949

>> Shelley Gray and her daughter Madison read through letters addressed to Santa Claus at the Valencia, Calif. post office department of Consumer Affairs, Dec. 18, 1996.

Associated Press

Dear Mr. Santa Claus:
You forgot me last yaehr, Christmas. Please don't forget me this Christmas. I'll pray every night to you to bring me a doll, and buggy, and slate, first reader and a school dress.

Carrie

Don't forget my little baby sister bilanche

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 25, 1888

>> At a Christmas party at their hotel in Pasadena, Calif., Dec. 25, 1948, from left to right are: Bob Nowicki, Johnny Miller and coach Bob Voigts of Northwestern University gather around Santa Claus. They’d like to ask Santa for one more present, a victory over the University of California in the Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day.

Associated Press

Dear Santy Claus:
I know a little boy and girl whose Papa has no work and their Mama washes for my Mama. Wont you please send them something for Christmas. The little girl wood like doll and the little boy anything you will give him.

Florence

Their names are Ellie and Josey

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 25, 1888

>> Letters to Santa are displayed at Santa Claus House in North Pole, Alaska, on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Clause:
I'm a little girl 9 years old and do you think I am to old to have a nice large doll and if I'm not I want one. I have two little sisters one is 2 and the other 3 month. The littlest is getting teeth and she wants a silber ring and the other one wants anything won can spear all but a doll she has a nice one and please bring me a picture book and any thing else that you can spear please and I'll close my letter now.

Your loving little Maud.

We live at 375 21st.

The Daily News, Denver
December 15, 1885

>> Maxmilian Kersthold, a U.S. Navy engineer stationed near Pleiku, plays Santa Claus, delivering gifts on Christmas Eve to Montagnard women and children in Mang Yang, a remote area of the Central Highlands, Dec. 24, 1965.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Claus in Famous:
I was down last week on Saturday and I seen you there. I would like to let you know what my sister Fanny and my brother Frankie and I would like to have for Christmas. My sister Fanny wants a rubber coat and rubber shoes. And Frankie wants a box of tools, a box of paint and an express wagon. And I would like to have a rubber coat, rubber shoes, a china set of dishes, and a Chatterbox story book. And Sunday, Dec. 13th I san in the exposition building music hall and we sang twelve songs and it was so full like any day when Gilmor's band was playing there. There was even no more standing room there. I want to let you know good Santa Claus that we are all good children. We always go to Sunday School every Sunday and I hope that you shure will not forget us. I will close my letter and my mamma and papa say that they will come down town in Famous and talk to you about it. I live on Ofallon Str. I am in number two Hamilton School.

Yours very truly,
Matilda Joesephien

St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat
December 19, 1886

>> Jennifer Grant, 20-month-old daughter of actor Cary Grant and actress Dyan Cannon, center, gets acquainted with Santa Claus at party given for Blind Children at the YMCA on 23rd street in New York City, Dec. 16, 1967.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Claus:
We are down witt the measles, my sissder Alice is 7 years old and she ask you to pleas give her a little sit of disshes and my little sissder Emma would like to have a sat to, or a little stove. Pleas give me a big doll. Pleas don't come thrue the stovepipe for you will bun your mutesh. Mamma will hang a little floor bag up to put it in. Pleas don't forget it. Papa has no work so ware poor.

Mamie

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 25, 1888

>> Fairbanks, Alaska post office supervisor Debra Cornelius looks over some of the letters addressed to Santa Claus Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2006, at the post office in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Associated Press

Benevolent Friend:
I do not need anything myself as I have a mother and father, but there are four little girls who have no father at No — West Erie St and their mother work very hard (at washing) every day. And when I told her of your kindness she asked me to write for her. Any assistance from you will be thankful received.

Yours Very Respt.
Agnes

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 25, 1888

>> A reluctant Jeffery Lovell, 3, center, isn’t the least bit impressed by a visit from Santa Claus despite the efforts of his mother, Mrs. Marilyn Lovell, at the home of the astronaut’s family home near the Manned Space Craft Center, Dec. 24, 1968, Houston, Tex. In the background is another of the Lovell children, Susan 10. The visit by Santa was part of the Christmas Eve celebration at the Lovell’s while Apollo continued on its orbit of the moon.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Claus: Please sent me an airifle and a magic lantern and a football and a stiring sleigh that is all that I want. Now Santa, I will depend upon you.

Your little boy

The New York Times
December 20, 1907

>> Students dressed up as Santa Clauses take part in the last lesson to get instructions for the Christmas eve, at Berlin's Technical University, Friday night, November 27, 1998.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Claus,
Please bring me a big, big doll for Christmas. I have a new baby sister and she hasn't seen Christmas yet. Please bring her a nice rattle. I will have to close now.

Yours truly,
Jane

P.S. Please answer.

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 14, 1929

>> Santa Claus and First Lady Betty Ford welcome children of members of the Diplomatic Corps to the White House in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 12, 1974 for a Christmas party.

Associated Press

Mr. Santa Claus,
A big wagon—not so very big—four wheels, two packs pop-crackers, a Mother Hubbard book.

Willmer

The New York Times
December 26, 1874

>> First lady Betty Ford walks with Santa Claus and some of the children of diplomats at the White House on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 1975 prior to start of a party she hosted for the youngsters.

Associated Press

Dear Santa Claus!
Papa aint working, so we won't have no Christmas. My little brother and I are satisfied with anything you will give us. Don't forget mamma. Good night dear Santa Claus.

Gussie

Chicago Daily Tribune
December 25, 1888

>> First Lady Betty Ford applauds as Santa Claus greets some of the children of diplomats during a Christmas party in the White House East Room in Washington Tuesday, Dec. 16, 1975. Approximately 500 children from 84 different countries attended the party hosted by Mrs. Ford.

Associated Press

Nellie wants a carriage and a baby and some candy. I wants a baby and candy, a little story-book.

Isabella

The New York Times
December 26, 1874

>> Sen. Edward Kennedy is greeted by Santa Claus on Sunday, Dec. 25, 1977 at Tokyo International airport upon his arrival for an overnight stop en route to Peking on a goodwill mission to China.

Keith Johnson, Deseret News

Dear Santa
Please I want a sleigh out and sides on I want a drum Wilma wants candies some for me.

Muriel

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier
December 21, 1898

>> Pamela Fuller takes the opportunity to give Santa Claus her wish list while waiting in line at the Salt Lake Main Post Office on its busiest day of the year Monday December 16, 2002.

Associated Press

I hope you will enjoy your Christmas, as I intend to enjoy mine. O, how glad I am that Christmas is so near and that the dear child Jesus was born so many years ago when laid in a manger. I hope we will enjoy our Christmas better than the last one, as our dear good father die the 14 of Dec. We have miss him very much and will miss forever. I hope I will see him once again not in this world; but in heaven.

Teresa Riedmiller

The Chicago Tribune
December 22, 1895

>> First lady Nancy Reagan wheels 5-year-old Amie Garrison of Clarksville, Ind., on a tour of the White House Christmas decorations on Monday, Dec. 10, 1984 in Washington.

Associated Press

After a minister in Minnesota received $3 to be used for gifts for some "home missionary children," he received the following letter of thanks:

My dear Santa Claus: You were very kind to send us boys three dollars. I think Christmas is a very nice day.

I have got a stick of candy & some peanuts & a Scripture book, & two dounuts & a apple & an pan-cake, and a man made out of doe & a story of Humpty Dumpty.

My brother Arthur got an whistle, it was made of candy & he is eaten it. Little Murray got a tin cart. I spoke for a pen & ink, but did not get it. I think I will buy me note paper with part of that money which you sent. I like to write very much. I think I will spend some of the money to get the Well Spring Sunday School paper. I like the pictures & storys. There was a picture of a Christmas tree. I like to read the last page that tells about the Jappenese. I can say the Lord's prayer. Have you got any little boy nor girl, if so how many. I am papa's biggest boy, & I am five years old

My brother Arthur is three years old, and Murray is just one year old. Papa bought me a first reader. I have read it nearly through. Have you frozen your ears this morning. I hopy you will live till next Christmas.

Yours truly,
Everett A.

The Congregationalist
January 15, 1879

>> Martha Stewart writes a letter to Santa with local Make-A-Wish children on Dec. 7, 2013.