Maryland children in the early 20th century sent letters containing poignant requests for St. Nick:
A Thoughtful Brother
Harry Brown Jr. of Annapolis spends most of his 1918 letter listing what his many siblings would like for Christmas (I love their names!):
Dear Santa Claus:
Will you please bring me an automobile, which I can work with my feet; and also a stocking full of candy. My stocking will be white, so you can distinguish it from the rest of the stockings. My brother Olaf wants a bicycle, or a pair of boots. My sister Naomi wants a doll and carriage and set of dishes. Don’t forget my sister Liberty, my big sister Myrtle and mamma and papa. Leave me a tree like you left last year. Hoping you will visit me. I am Harry Brown, Jr.
Wanted: A House for Christmas
In 1912, the letter from Daniel Carroll Shepley of Myersville requested the usual candy and toys, but he also had a special request for St. Nick:
Dear Santa Claus:
I’m a little boy almost five years old. I go to Sunday school and I think I am pretty good. You ought to bring me just lots of candy and toys ‘cause I don’t have any sisters or brothers. One thing I want is a house with an upstairs and a pump in the kitchen. If you forget to leave all my toys when you come you can mail them to me as I live at the Post Office in Myersville. I will put a bottle of grape juice and a piece of fruit cake for you on the mantlepiece, so if you get hungry you can eat and drink on your way to Adelaide’s house. From your little boy, Daniel Carroll Shepley
‘Please bring my Uncle Marion home’
A letter from 6-year-old Donald Hardesty of Camp Parole was in the same 1918 issue of The Capital as Harry’s. Donald asks for a few gifts, but his most touching request is the return of his uncle, who I am surmising served in World War I:
Dear Santa Claus
Please bring me a bugle, a game of checkers, a rain coat and hat a pop gun, some story books if you have them to spare, a Charlie Chaplin and a few other toys. And fill my stocking. Don’t forget mamma, papa and brother. And please bring my Uncle Marion home.
Here’s hoping that these children got all that they wished for from Santa.
Sources: The News, December 14, 1912, The Capital, December 24, 1918