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Christmas Gifts for Children in 1913

orange Your ancestors were children once. So figuring a hundred years ago, more than likely it was a grandparent or great grandparent or even a great-great grandparent that was a child at Christmas in 1913. So what were they hoping Santa would leave them under the tree?

Since years ago the hometown newspaper use to publish the letters to Santa from the children, you can get a good idea of what was on that wish list of so long ago. Using any number of the different online newspaper archives, including the Library of Congress ‘Chronicling America‘ newspapers dated December 1913 from across the country, you can discover the treasures little children wanted years ago. If you really did a search in the hometown area where a great grandparent was a child, you might even discover a letter to Santa written by that relative — wouldn’t that be quite a find!!

Here is a collection of some of the children’s gifts requested by kids one hundred years ago. Note they some are quite different from today’s children’s list.

A number one request was for candy. Then a rocking horse was a favorite item followed for girls they wanted a doll. Now for those in colder weather areas, mittens were a popular gift. Then kids requested a toy train and I’m sure those varied in style and what the train could do. Next, again for those in colder climates, they requested oranges and nuts. Children’s books were a popular item as a gift, followed by a handkerchief. The following is an item that has remained a classic item for decades — that of skates.

In doing your own search online place a relative’s name, year and “Dear Santa” or “Santa Claus” in the keywords box. See what turns up.

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