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An Open Letter To Santa Claus

( Originally Published 1916 )

MY DEAR SANTA CLAUS: I am writing to you in behalf of the several millions of people in this country who are orthodox.

By orthodox I mean those who believe in you. We also believe in fairies and angels. We believe that the spirits of dead mothers still are near to all little boys and girls, and love them always, and look after them, and often put good thoughts into their minds, and kiss them in their sleep. And that fathers who are dead are living yet and loving their children and working for them somewhere.

We believe in you, dear Santa Claus, because you do not do anything else but come around once a year and make children happy. Surely anybody who is in that business ought to be believed in, whether he exists or not.

But you do exist. You live in the hearts and fancies of thousands and thousands of little people, and surely that is a much better place to live than in a big house in a fine city.

- So, when you come dashing along with your reindeer and your sledful of toys on Christmas Eve, don't forget that many, many eager eyes are upon you and a vast number of little hearts are fluttering in tune and time with your sleighbells.

Our stockings will be hung up, as usual, around the fireplace. If we haven't a fireplace you can find them hung up on the radiator or the back of a chair. For we know that people who build houses without fireplaces cannot fool you, and that you can come down the steam pipe or creep in through the keyhole just as easily as you used to enter houses by chimneys.

Please don't bring us useful presents, like mittens and handkerchiefs. We want red wagons and dolls, and all sorts of those funny and Christmast' thingumajigs that you know so well how to make. Also please bring some striped stick candy, because we can suck it a long time and it doesn't give us the stomach ache.

If you see a very tiny stocking hanging among the others, don't overlook it. That's the baby's. He is not old enough, of course, to know what Christmas means, but go on, put something in his stocking anyhow, because we don't want him left out. Please do this.

And don't forget grandma's stocking. She doesn't want to hang it up, but we are going to make her, because she is the very sweetest, darlingest grandma in all the whole world, and she believes in you, and has told us lots about you. Haven't you any grandma toys?

We are all going to bed early and sleep tight as tight can be on Christmas Eve, and we promise honestly not to look, and we will be up early Christmas morning; so be sure and come.

And please, please don't forget the poor children. You know it takes only the cheapest kind of a toy to make them happy, to make them know that Christmas is really and truly here.

So come, dear old Santa Claus, come to the myriad children who, adore you, to the mother hearts that live again their childhood days when you visit them, to the fathers who, when they hear you coming, are changed "and become as little children," and even to all those whose babies are no more about them, but are gone to live with the blessed dead.

We need you; and this world would be poorer and so waste and sad if you and the fairies and the angels should lose faith in us and come no more.

P. S.óLast night little Tim, when he was saying his prayers, said "God bless Santa Claus, too." So you see there's one little fellow in this house that thinks you're all right.

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