AUSSIE KIDS’ heartwarming letters to Santa
As Christmas approaches, children the world over sit down to write dearest wishes to Santa Claus. Genevieve Gannon takes a peek inside the mailbag to see what Aussie kids are hoping for.
Every year, around midNovember, envelopes with sloping, colourful writing begin trickling into mailboxes all over the country. “Dear Santa,” one says. “Would it be possible for you to bring me a kitten?” “Dear Santa,” begins another. “Could you please give lots of presents to the children who need them.”
By December this trickle has become a ood of letters decorated with drawings and written with hope. Some are practical. Their authors are ling speci c requests for bikes or puppies. “I’ve been very good,” one says, aware of the rules, “so I would like …”
Father Christmas tells us that hoverboards are big this year, as is slime. Surprisingly, more children are asking for bikes than iPads. Puppies are more popular than cats. Spaniels (Cockers and King Charles) seem to be the breed of choice. But many letters are grander in scope – asking for the hungry to be fed or animals to be protected. “Dear Santa,” one says. “Please may you give the farmers a lot of rain for the drought.”
Each year, Australia Post receives more than 150,000 such letters. Leaf through them and you hear a chorus of children’s voices and gain a picture of a generation. They are polite. “How are the elves?” And curious. “What do your reindeer eat?” “How fast does your sleigh get around the world?”
One theme that comes through is a strong concern for those who are disadvantaged. “Please make some presents for those in need,” writes Anna Barwick of Tamworth. These piles of paper make it clear that the children of Australia have more on their minds than the latest toy.
“Dear Santa. Hi. How are you? My name is Neeve and I am seven years old. If you could manage it, my Christmas wish would be please send some rain so we have some beautiful green grass. How are your reindeers going with the terrible drought?”
From Tamworth, in the parched food bowl of NSW, there’s a recurring request:
“Dear Santa,” writes Chelsea. “If you could manage it, my Christmas wish would be to please send some rain because we are in a very bad drought and the horses are thirsty.”
“Santa please send some rain, can you make my wish come true?” writes Oliver Smith.
Those from the farming communities, who know hay is scarce and the cost of feed is high, are worried about how Santa’s reindeer are faring. “Are you getting enough hay because here in Tamworth the hay is too much money,” writes Ashton. “Do they need some carrots?” asks Ivy, eight.
Letter writers in parts of the country unaffected by the drought are no less conscious of spending their Christmas wishes wisely. World peace, war, animal protection and food for the needy are also recurrent themes.
“I hope this Christmas all the people in the world have time with their families. I also hope
“I wish for a llama to ride to school.” – Anastacia “Mayweplease haveaverygood yearsonoone hasanyfights.” –Bronte
that one of my favourite animals, the Kiwi, does not become endangered,” writes Sophie Gibby, of Melbourne. “Can you please use your Christmas magic to help those who need it,” writes Zoe Sheehan. “I wish that the homeless people will have a full tummy and a roof above their head.”
“For Christmas this year, I would like to spread happiness across the globe,” writes Year Three student, Genevieve, of Melbourne.
Ever conscious of Santa’s naughty and nice list, the children are eager to report what they’ve been up to during the year. “Something I was really proud of was when I learnt my nine times tables,” writes Thalia from Tennant Creek, in the Northern Territory. Kyren, also from Tennant Creek, has been cleaning the house and his bedroom, and also occasionally doing the dishes.
“I’ve done well this year helping my sisters and friends,” writes Mia. “I would like a mermaid necklace.”
Lots of kids want to improve a particular skill. Hugh wants to become a better soccer player so he can win a trophy. Minh would like Santa to make her a famous singer. “Can I please have a DX watch as I’d like to learn to tell the time,” writes Charlotte Tongue. Others take a more direct approach to expanding their understanding of the world. “So,” writes Bronte, eight, “how old are you?”
Eli Stewart, of Tamworth, would like a dingo and a pet butter snake, “and please give us some rain, please.” Jackson Brooks ends his letter with an entreaty: “Hope you have an amazing Christmas! Please don’t forget about the other kids.”
“Thank you, Santa. I don’t know how you do it,” a young correspondent writes. “We’re counting on you.”
“For Christmas I wish for a iPad and another iPad because my cousin doesn’t hav eone.” –Tahlia
“I wish for some baby chicks and I hope that Audrey gets her wish too.” – Lily