Hurry Your Letter for Santa

A traditional Santa Claus, circa 1912, holds bags of gifts.
Santa Claus, as he appeared in the Skidmore New Era in December 1912

Around 1913, the Skidmore newspaper began printing local children’s letters to Santa Claus in at least one of its December editions.  This helped both the local postmaster and the Jolly Old Elf himself by centralizing delivery, and it made for some entertaining reading.

This appeal for letters appeared in the Skidmore News, December 6, 1917.  It was a time of war, but Santa is bigger than politics and international strife:

Hurry Your Letter for Santa

Santa Claus has made arrangements with the News to take care of his mail that comes from the little boys and girls who write to him this year from Skidmore and surrounding country.  So, little boy, little girl if you intend to tell this good old fellow what would most please you this Christmas, or tell him how you appreciated what he gave you last Christmas you must hurry and get your letters to the News office not later than Tuesday of next week, as Santa wants us to publish them and send him a paper so he can get the letters all at once and not be bothered with so many separate messages when the time is so short before he will be compelled to make his annual visit and distribute his presents; and then too, you know, he has a larger task before him this year than common as he desires to remember the boys in the camps, on the ships and in the trenches who are giving their services that the little folks may enjoy free homes in this great land of ours.

We believe that little folks appreciate what these boys are doing for us and will not ask too much of good old Santa for themselves, but will ask him to make their Christmas as joyous as possible.

Write and bring or send your letters right away, so they will not be too late to print and send to Santa.

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