Thursday, December 6, 2012

Advent Calendar of Memories: Santa Claus

Geneabloggers is once again hosting the Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories encouraging family historians to write about their holiday traditions.

This post was originally published in 2011.

Even when my friends were casting doubts about Santa’s identity, I knew he was real.  That’s because one Christmas morning – I guess I was about 4 years old –  my dad actually saw Santa and his sleigh just as he was leaving.  Daddy came running into my room, calling for me to get up and HURRY.  “Quick.  Santa just left.  If you hurry, you’ll see him up in the sky.”  Did I run!  I looked out the living room window.  But I was too late.  I even ran outside and searched the sky in all directions, but I guess Santa was too far above the clouds for me to see.  If only I had woken up a few seconds earlier!

When my sister and I were kids, we could hardly sleep Christmas Eve night.  The excitement was just too big to contain.  We knew Santa would never let us down, letter or no letter.  But we wrote one just to be on the safe side.  My parents saved mine from 1958 (Santa must’ve dropped it in his hurry to move on to the next house).

The front of the letter is simply a list – no greeting, no “How are you” – just down to the business of naming my toy choices for the year:

Ironing board and
Dishes and a
Sleepyhead doll and a
Diaper Bag set and a
Dolly’s travel case and a
Bride doll and a
Knitting basket and a
Tune Tote and a
Beauty kit and a
Steam iron and a
Mechanic’s Bench
And that’s all
To Santa Claus

The back of the letter is where I build my case:

I meen a goog little girl

My family loves to repeat a funny story, so over the years that one little sentence has had more revivals than "Oklahoma."

© 2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. What a lovely list. I wonder what you were going to fix with your mechanics bench?

    1. Who knows!! My parents always thought that request was hilarious.

  2. That's the sweetest thing ever! I've been saving my kids' lists. Right now, they dictate and I write, but I'm sure the ones they write themselves someday will be even better.

    1. Even better than what they "write" now, I mean. :)

  3. Aw! What a cute little list! Most of the items were very domesticated, except for the mechanic's bench. Now that's interesting! So, I have to ask. Did Santa bring you the requested bench? If so, it would be interesting to know what you tried to repair with it.

    I also love the "And that's all" you tacked on the end.

  4. That is the sweetest letter and you have meen a goog little girl this year too.

    I wonder if Google knows that you called it first? HA!

  5. I knew Santa was real, too! One Christmas morning I got up to see sleigh tracks on the frost covered grass! (Now that I think about it, wasn't Santa supposed to land on the roof?) It was years later when I realized the sleigh tracks were actually lawn mower tracks :-)