McAlester News-Capital

McAlester News-Capital office

Letters to Santa from a century ago share a theme with letters today.

The McAlester News-Capital has published local children’s letters to Santa Claus for more than 100 years — including this year’s batch published in the Christmas print edition on Dec. 24.

Local history enthusiast Steve Adams collected several such letters published a century ago in the McAlester News-Capital in “The Children’s Christmas Mail Box.”

Most of the children’s letters requested candy, nuts and fruit.

Several girls asked for dolls, ribbons, and clothes — and boys often requested sports stuff, wagons, and anything loud.

“You know we love candy and toys and anything that makes noise,” Moody Smith from Quinton wrote in his 1921 letter.

Letters ranged in tone — from business-like demands to bashful requests and whimsical queries.

Some children took time in their letters to ask the world’s famed gift giver where he was in the annual process.

“How are you getting along? I hope you are all right and will be able to come out Christmas,” W.H.H. Hale, of Krebs, asked in his 1921 letter.

Those letters from 1921 still bring smiles and laughs to those who read them as they depict each child’s personality — their imagination, hope, and dreams.

But what stands out most is the selfless nature shown in most of the letters.

Hartshorne’s Violet Hazie White wrote “Don’t forget mama and papa.”

McAlester’s G.P. Crockett asked Santa to bring something nice for his aunt and uncle, and his teacher.

Haileyville’s Bernadean Routh asked Santa to not forget other little boys and girls and “please don’t forget my grandma and my grandpa.”

Those requests for others show each child’s recognition that the holiday season doesn’t come from a store — it means a lot more.

Children show the same altruistic tendencies in their letters to Santa published in the News-Capital’s 2021 Christmas print edition.

“I want everybody to be happy,” 4-year-old Cahill Lott wrote this year.

“I would like for my mom to feel better,” 9-year-old Lorelai wrote.

“Please do not forget my brothers,” third-grader Kelly wrote. “They both love dinosaurs.”

Many wrote about how they’ve helped their parents with chores, got good grades, and tried their best to be good.

A few even wrote that they hope the pandemic didn’t hit the North Pole.

“Dear Santa, I hope you didn’t get COVID-19,” fourth-grader Raylan Bernardi wrote.

We hope everyone looks out for each other over the holiday season.

The past two years brought new challenges that forced us to consider others unlike we’ve previously done.

Let’s show care for others through this holiday season and beyond with our friends, family and fellow community members.

Be safe, be kind, and happy holidays to you all.

McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board

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