Kids write the darndest letters to Santa

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Robert Fulghum once wrote an inspirational book entitled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. He realized that the common-sense lessons we learn in our formative grade school years — be nice to people, share your things, don’t cut in line — are rules we can follow throughout our adult lives.

Ark Linkletter (and later Bill Cosby) once hosted a radio and TV segment titled “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” where young people would be asked questions and their responses would be “cute” and usually humorous.

Jesus Christ once famously said that “unless you become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

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All three of these examples prove that we can learn a lot from the mouths of babes. I have been in the newspaper business for a little more than five years, and every year I have been lucky enough to get to read letters to Santa that have been sent to the newspapers where I’ve worked.

No matter the newspaper, the rules were always the same — type up the letters exactly as they’re written. The spelling mistakes and backwards handwriting only add to the innocence of the children, who are spilling out their hearts to the big guy in red. I’m happy that The Post-Searchlight also honors this tradition; we ran several letters in previous December editions and you can find even more in this issue on Page 8A, and in our Christmas edition that comes out this weekend.

While some of the kids asked Santa for presents — it seems like iPads, X-Box 360s and motorcycles were among the popular choices this year — others were happy to just ask Santa how he was doing. I couldn’t help but let out a chuckle at the little child who asked Santa to make sure that the other reindeer didn’t laugh at Rudolph.

However, I think some of the best of all were the kids who didn’t even ask for presents for themselves, but for their family members. I remember a few that asked for a silver necklace and purse for their mom, a tool set for their dad, and even presents for those “smelly” brothers and sisters! What joy it is to see such selfless generosity even in someone so young.

Fulghum said that we could learn everything we ever needed to know from kindergarten. I’d argue that we can learn even more from those kindergartners’ letters to Santa.

Justin Schuver is the managing editor of The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at