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1915 Santa letter: Adorable century-old letter shows humility of the times

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A 1915 Santa letter, preserved by a Nova Scotia family, has become an Internet hit. The letter, sweetly humble and modest, was penned by London, ON native Homer Mellen, who was seven years old at the time.

Yahoo! Shine on Friday carried an interesting piece on how “Dear Santa” letters and Christmas wish lists have evolved over time. Mellen’s letter, undemanding and self-effacing, can be easily contrasted with today’s over-the-top requests for the latest and greatest that the “North Pole” has to offer.

The 1915 letter asks Santa for “a box of paints, a nine-cent reader and a schoolbag to put them in.” Adorably, Mellen asks Santa for nuts, toys or candy, but only if he can “spare” them. He closes by saying that any of his requests will “please a seven year old boy.”

(Bonus points for anyone who can tell me what a “nine-cent reader” is.)

The note went viral after Mellen's granddaughter, Laurie Bloomfield, sent it to Good Morning America reporter Eliza Murphy. Murphy had written an article about a 7-year-old girl's Santa letter that asked for, among other things, a whopping grand in cash, a new American Girl doll (I have a daughter – those dolls are very high-end), and of course, the latest iPod product.

“[It was] a testament to a time when things were much simpler,” Bloomfield said.”It is so important because of the sweet sentiment it offers. [My grandfather's] words are so humble and so polite.”

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