In Darlington County of more than a half-century ago, there was a popular Christmas custom that persisted for a number of years, but eventually died out and may soon be entirely forgotten. It was the practice of the county newspapers to publish “Letters to Santa Claus” written by children of Darlington County.
The Darlington County Historical Commission has an extensive collection of such letters written during the Christmas seasons from 1910 through 1925 and herewith presents a few selected letters for such nostalgic value as they may possess:
Dear Santa Claus: I am a little girl seven years old. Please bring me a doll and a little piano and some fruit and candy and nuts. Don’t forget the little motherless and fatherless children.
Lovingly, Edith Hodge, Society Hill.
Dear Santa Claus: I am writing you a letter to ask you to please remember me. I am a little girl six years old and go to school. I want you to please bring me some candles and sparklers, candies and fruits and I will be thankful.
From Ruby Moody, Mont Clare.
Dear Santa Claus: I am a little boy six years old and go to school. Ruby Moody is my cousin. We play together nice. I want you to please bring me some little things such as you think I need, to play with, and I will be thankful.
From Ernest White, Mont Clare.
Dear Santa: I am just a little boy too large for toys, but there are a few things I would like to have. Please bring me a pair of cuff buttons, a collar pin, a football cover, lots of fireworks and some fruit. I would like you to bring Mama a silk petticoat; Papa a pair of gold cuff buttons; little sister a pretty doll; brother Louie a real drum; little brother a train.
Your little friend, Harvie Blackman, Darlington.
Dear Santa Claus: I am a ‘little boy six years old. Please bring me a wagon, some fireworks, fruit and anything else you think would suit a little boy like me. Please remember all little children this Christmas. Your little boy,
Baxter Windham, Lamar.
Dear Santa Claus: If you knew Just what a good little girl I am, you would bring me Just what I ask for. I know times are hard, but Christmas comes only once a year, and children should have what they want. I want a real tea set; a cook stove; a ring, a bracelet; a new doll; fireworks and fruit. This is my first year In school; I have a nice teacher, her name Is Miss McQueen. Please don*t forget the poor Bulgarians.
All my love, Daisy Lee Munn, Syracuse.
Dear Santa Claus: Please bring me a football; a foot-ball sweater; a box of firecrackers; a pair of gloves; a mit; a horn; a baseball and some roman candles.
Your little boy, John H. Bekks, Hartsville.
Dear Santa Claus: I wish you a happy Christmas. I wish you would bring me a doll bed, a doll dress and a doll heart and a book.
Lovingly, Vermeil King, Hartsville.
Dear Santa Claus: Please bring me a bicycle, and a cowboy suit and a Little Lord Fauntleroy book and some candy and fruit and nuts. Don’t forget my sister who is in the hospital, and remember the poor children.
Your little friend, Boardman Edwards, Darlington.
Dear Santa Claus: I want a little bicycle and two little dolls for Ruth and Gladys. I want a ball and bat. I want a pistol and firecrackers, a drum and a drawing book.
Your little friend, Marion Siskron, Darlington.
Dear Santa Claus: I will just ask you to bring me a beautiful doll and a tea set, if you please. And bring me a big doll carriage and a doll set. That is all, dear old Santa. I hope you will find my house.
Your friend, Margaret Lucas, Darlington,
Dear Santa Claus: I want you to bring me a top, an air rifle, some shots to shoot in it, some nuts, some fireworks and some fruit. I will close my letter.
Your friend, Gray Brand, Lydia.
Dear Santa Claus: I am a little boy nine years old. I want you to bring me a ball and some fireworks and a stocking full of fruit
Your friend, Allan Mozingo, Lydia.
P.S. I am going to be a good boy.
Dear Santa: How are you today? Please bring me a trunk, a book, a doll carriage, a. doll cradle, a doll house, some fruit, some raisins and some candy. I hone you a Merry Christmas. I will close my letter.
With love, Lois Campbell, Hartsville.
Dear Santa Claus: Please bring me some candy and fruit some firecrackers and a wheel, a cap pistol and a knife. Please bring my brother Robert some fruit, candy and firecrackers, a cap pistol and a knife. We will be good little boys if you will remember us.
Yours truly, Woodrow Raines & Robert Raines, Lamar.
Dear Santa Claus: While you are travelling through the South this Xmas, I want you to remember me. I am a little five year old girl but I am smart. I wash dishes for mama and daddy, I want you to bring me a nice little dollie that will go to sleep, a carriage for her, some fruit and some firecrackers to scare grandma with.
With love, Doris W. Lane, Lamar.