Three years of Letters to Santa

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

This is the third Christmas I have been the editor of this newspaper, and each year one of my duties is to format the “Letters to Santa” from children sent in by their teachers in the Darlington County School District. My friends and family look forward to hearing the funny things some children rquest, such as the year that a child asked Santa, “My Dad wants a PS4” and “This year my Mom and I might may cookies. Last year we did NOT.”

Many ask for pets; this year, more requests were for kittens and cats than dogs!

One child, however, asked for not one, not two, but THREE brothers. Good luck on that one, Mom and Dad!

Other letters are more poignant.

Last year I received:

“Dear Santa: I wish you could make the world a better place so all people would stop fighting.”


“Dear Santa: I just want my Grandma and Pa to be well. That’s all I want, please Santa.”

It is hard to keep from tearing up as you read them.

The study of the letters is a sociology lesson. You can sometimes tell the socio-economic level of children by what they ask for. Others are not as easy to tell, especially when they ask for something for someone else.

Some ask for a bed.

Others ask for things other children take for granted, such as shoes, and school supplies.

One child asked this year, “My Christmas wish is to have new clothes because it is hard for my Daddy and me to find clothes.”

Two years back, a child asked for a toy, and then wrote, “But if you can’t, that’s okay Santa. Please bring a toy to my little brother.”

We received fewer letter this year than last; could that be because the teachers are working harder than ever trying to keep up with the demands of a state mandated curriculum?

As I prepared the paper this week, my heart was warmed by the donations from community members to various Angel Trees and Santa Funds across the county.
When I visited the First Church of God on Lee Street, the congregation shared a gift of fruit. That thoughtful gift was the perfect treat while I typed on Sunday afternoon. One of the lines in Rev. Robinson’s sermon floated back to me- she preached to do more, and to give back by reminding the congregation of President John F. Kennedy’s speech to the nation, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

She also shared Matthew 5:16 from scripture, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

As I look back at the dear letters sent by little ones that believe in Santa Claus, I prayed that they all have a happy holiday with their families. I hope that one day these little ones will grow to have generous hearts that learn to give back to their community.

Yes, we share letters from little ones to Santa each year. But each week, here in this little newspaper in the equally small Darlington County, South Carolina, we share the photographs and stories of the people that help one another when they need it most.

So let my letter to Santa be that in the coming year, the people of Darlington County let their light shine, so that their good deeds inspire others.
Merry Christmas to you all.

Author: Duane Childers

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