Tag Archives: Santa Claus

Christmas Eve

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Christmas gifts.

Image via Wikipedia

Here it is, one more time, Christmas. Being Christmas Eve everyone is hurrying around trying to get the last-minute gifts and food items which were forgotten, Christmas dinner will go off just as it was planned.  All of us who celebrate Christmas have our traditions.  My family celebrates on Christmas Eve and Santa visits, leaving those wonderful presents for the excited children.  There are squeals and lots of laughter.  It is planned chaos from start to finish.  Paper and boxes are everywhere.  We do have family members who believe they need to say all the bows and printed boxes.  They think they will use them again but if they do I don’t recognize them.

Then we have the one family member that insists that all the paper be neatly folded before being placed in the trash bags.  That was how mama did it.  Since coming to the family he has learned how to loosen up a bit over the years.  His family’s tradition was to open up gifts on Christmas Eve and then place them around the tree for display until Christmas morning.  I never have been able to understand that particular concept.

What are your family traditions?  Do you know anyone’s tradition that doesn’t quite fit your ideas of Christmas?

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I pray your cup is overflowing with health, happiness, and prosperity.  Blessings to you and yours.

A Christmas Past

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I was sent the following Santa letter from a friend today.  It got me to thinking about  how different the Christmas wants of today are from what they were 100 years ago, or are they?

The letter was from a boy they think, written over 100 years ago and found on a fireplace shelf that somehow survived over the century.  What do kids ask for today? Dolls, clothes, electronics, candy, ect. ect.  This child asked for very similar items.  Not the electronics of course, since they weren’t available at the time.

In many ways I think the contrast between what the child wanted with what todays children want shows both how our world has changed and at the same time remained the same. The childs list was simple and didn’t sound like much, but I’m sure that childs wants would have cost quite a bit 100 years ago.

Please enjoy the letter and let me know your thoughts.

Dear Santa Letter sent 100 years ago found up chimney

MICHAEL O’REGAN and PAMELA DUNCAN

IT MAY have been slightly scorched over the years but a letter to Santa written 100 years ago, which was later discovered in a Dublin fireplace, has the magic of Christmas written all over it.

On Christmas Eve 1911, a brother and sister, who signed their names, “A or H Howard”, penned their personally designed letter to Santa with their requests for gifts and a good luck message at their home in Oaklands Terrace, Terenure (or Terurnure, as the children spelled it) in Dublin.

They placed it in the chimney of the fireplace in the front bedroom so that Santa would see it as he made his way into the Howard household in the early hours of the morning.

The letter was discovered by the house’s current occupant, John Byrne, when he was installing central heating in 1992.

Since then, he has retained it as a souvenir of another time and place but with the stamp of childhood innocence which still exists today.

The message to Santa was warm but explicit.

“I want a baby doll and a waterproof with a hood and a pair of gloves and a toffee apple and a gold penny and a silver sixpence and a long toffee.”

Ownership of the house changed over the decades, with the Byrne family moving there in 1961, but the letter survived.

“At that time, the fireplaces were made of brick with a shelf on either side,” said John Byrne who works in the building industry.

“The letter was found on one of the shelves.”

The letter remained remarkably intact given the passage of time and was only slightly burned from fires set in the house over the years.

As well as the requests for gifts from Santa the letter also contains drawings and a message of “Good Luck” to Santa from the children.

According to the 1911 census there were three children living at the address in the year in which the letter was written.

The youngest of them, Hannah, who was 10 at the time, and Fred (presumably short for Alfred) who was seven, fit in with the initials on the letter.

A third child, a 13-year-old called Lily, is also listed.

The Howard family were all born in England, including parents Fred Hamer Howard, an “under manager” in a plumber merchants, and his wife Mary Elizabeth. They listed their religion as Church of Ireland.