Tips and Tricks When Writing to St. Nick

How do you get what you want for Christmas? Write a letter to Santa, of course! Combing through “Dear Santa” letters published in historical newspapers, you can glean tips and tricks on how to write a letter of your own.

The North Mississippi Herald (Water Valley, MS), December 19, 1919.

“Telling Santa,” The Country Record (Kingstree, SC), December 21, 1916.

A close examination of hundreds of “Dear Santa” letters suggests there are several approaches to writing Jolly Old St. Nick:

Don’t dilly dally and get to the point.

The Pensacola Journal (Pensacola, FL), December 24, 1915.

Hungry Horse News (Columbia Falls, MT), December 17, 1954.

 

Flattery (and name dropping) will get you everywhere.

The Daily Telegram (Clarksburg, WV), December 17, 1907.

The Redwood Gazette (Redwood Falls, MN), December 17, 1930.

 

Entice Santa with the promise of food and a good time.

The Chronicle Star the Moss Point Advertiser (Moss Point, MS), December 21 ,1951.

The Weiser Signal (Weiser, ID), December 24, 1902.

 

It doesn’t hurt to brag sometimes.

The Prescott Daily News (Prescott, AR), December 16, 1916.

The Nashville Globe (Nashville, TN), December 16, 1910.

Roanoke Rapids Herald (Roanoke Rapids, NC), December 19, 1935.

 

Give Santa a guilt trip.

Monroe City Democrat (Monroe City, MO), December 30, 1900.

The Redwood Gazette (Redwood Falls, MN), December 17, 1930.

Monroe City Democrat (Monroe City, MO), December 13, 1900.

Other helpful tips can be drawn from the letters:

Bury the “big ask” amongst more humble requests.

The Brinkley Argus (Brinkley, AR), December 20, 1912.

The Nevada County Picayune (Prescott, AR), December 16, 1910.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Express concern for Santa’s welfare.

The North Mississippi Herald (Water Valley, MS), December 19, 1919.

The Nashville Globe (Nashville, TN), December 23, 1910.

 

Provide Santa with clear directions.

Ottumwa Tri-Weekly Courier (Ottumwa, IA), December 24, 1907.

The Pensacola Journal (Pensacola, FL), December 23, 1913.

 

To ensure your pony arrives, leave the back gate open and no room for negotiation. 

The Lake County Times (Hammond, IN), December 18, 1909.

The Commonwealth (Scotland Neck, NC), December 12, 1916.

The Prescott Daily News (Prescott, AR), December 16, 1916.

Discover more:

* The Chronicling America historic newspapers online collection is a product of the National Digital Newspaper Program and jointly sponsored by the Library and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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