Thursday, December 5, 2013
I had so much response from last week’s column that I decided to share some more Letters to Santa, all published in the Georgetown Times and made available on the Georgetown County Digital Library website.
It’s obvious that during the Depression children were very much aware of the hardships and scarcity of luxuries at Christmas. The following letters were published in December, 1930.
Leon Cribb started his letter with, “I know times are hard this year so I won’t ask you for much.” He asked for only three toys, fireworks, fruit, and nuts.
Betty Corrine Cribb’s short list ended with, “I am not asking for much because I know you have a lot of little children to visit.”
Geraldine Kenyon’s list was short and sweet: fruit, toys, and candy.
Betty Hodge’s list was short and intriguing. She asked for a “sho nuff” mule, a billy goat, sewing basket, doll with blanket, and a tricycle. (I can’t help but wonder if she wanted a real live mule and goat.)
From Andrews, Meta, Madge, and Loraine Blakely sent letters asking for toys, fruit, nuts, and fireworks. Loraine ended her letter, “I will not ask you for any more because I know you are having a hard time.”
Jimmie Cook’s letter in 1950 is a little bolder. He wrote, “If it were left up to me I think that Christmas morning there would be an electric train under the tree for me.”
In 1959, Donna Kay Hardee didn’t forget her parents. At the end of her list she asked for a pair of shoes for her mother and a pack of Beech Nut chewing gum for her father.
At the end of her letter in 1961, Cheryl L. adds, “Sometimes I am bad, but most of the time I am good. I wish that nobody gets switches.”
Also in 1961, little Carol Walsh wished for “a brown stuffed dog like the one in the window at the Delta Drug Store.” (I’m pretty sure she got it - her parents owned the store.)
The next four letters were published in December, 1962 and had me laughing out loud.
Clay Carter explained to Santa that his new home was in Athens, Ga., and had no chimney. He instructed Santa to use the front door. At the end of his letter he added, “I will leave you a cake, a sandwich, some soup and we have a daddy and he wants some socks. And let mama have a dish rag.”
Debbie Holland, a first-grader, wrote, “I am kind of a boy and a girl because I want a gun and holster and a doll too.” She warns Santa, “P.S. Please don’t get stuck in our chimney. It’s not very big.”
At the end of her letter, Kasandra Prosser wrote, “Just open the refrigerator if you’re hungry. Mama won’t be mad at you.”
Cliff Sloan was very explicit. “Please do not bring me a doll because I’m a boy. I want a BB gun, a small gun, a fire engine that shoots out water!”
Lois Tanner’s long list in 1969 included 11 items. Item number nine was a pony. She added, “I have a place for a pony.” (Thank goodness!)
Also in 1969, my cousin Alicia Johnson asked for a Tippee Toes Doll, a Drowsy, a stove with dishes and pots, and a wig. (Huh? A wig? I’ll have to ask Alicia about that one. I do not remember her being bald at the age of four.)
As you can see from the photo included with this column, sometimes the simplest toys are the best. We’re outside on Christmas morning playing with our bubble makers. They are nothing more than bottles of soapy water and wire wands twisted into circles. That’s me (in pigtails), Johnny Waddell, Jimmy Maness, Rhett Johnson, and Mary Dartha Maness holding baby Ruthie.
To the GCDL and to hopeful children everywhere . . . thanks for the memories.
I may be reached at (843) 446-4777 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.