Letters to Santa Might Break Your Heart

A microscope. A new puppy. A mother. And absolutely, positively NO CLOTHES.

From the humorous to the heart-wrenching, children’s wish lists to Santa reveal that children aren’t as toy-centric as parents think — and that they’re not as polite as perhaps they should be.

Carole Slotterback, a psychology professor at the University of Scranton, analyzed nearly 1,200 letters sent between 1998 and 2003 to the central post office in Scranton, a struggling former coal city in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The missives were scrawled or painstakingly handwritten on every type of paper and in every shade of ink. Many were decorated with drawings, stickers or glitter; some children gave Santa not only their addresses but their phone numbers, parents’ cell phone numbers and their school pictures — just to make sure the Big Guy knew how to find them on Christmas.

Slotterback, who describes her findings in the book “The Psychology of Santa,” said the letters “touched me in so many different ways.”

“Some are just absolutely a stitch, and others are some of the saddest things I’ve ever read,” she said.
And then there was the one written in careful cursive on bright pink paper, in which Santa was asked for perhaps the greatest gift of all: a mom.

(Perhaps the above story will remind all of us not to focus on the toys we give our kids but love and faith. Read all of the above story Expert: Santa letters not all about toys.)

 

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