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These Letters to Santa from the Early 1900s Are an Absolute Delight to Read

A Twitter account is sharing the delightful letters.

For a kid, writing a letter to Santa is a sacred thing. It is the one opportunity to let the jolly, red-cheeked one know what exactly they want under their tree. It’s a time-honored tradition that kids have been dutifully participating in for more than a hundred years and thanks to the Internet, you can actually read letters to Santa from real kids that were coming of age in the early 1900s. Unsurprisingly, it’s incredibly interesting to see all the ways that kids from the early 20th century were similar and different from kids growing up today.

The letters are being shared on Twitter by @TweetsofOld, an account that was created to “reveal the lives of our predecessors through the tweets of yesteryear” and uses quotes from old newspapers to give us an insight into what life was like before social media and the 24-hour news cycle. The letters show that kids writing back in the early 1900s may have been a bit more practical and grounded than their contemporary counterparts, often wishing for a wagon or a toolbox instead of an iPhone X.

But despite the 100-year difference in writing, kids back then and kids today still manage to have more in common than you might expect. For example, a young boy named Anson wrote to Santa in 1902 admitting he wants a doll but is too afraid people will laugh at him. Nearly 115 years later, boys still unfairly get judged for wanting to play with toys. Kids back then also referring to war and economic hardships in their letters to Santa is a tough reminder that there are kids from every era who are forced to grow up in difficult circumstances.

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Most of all, these letters show that Christmas always has been and will be the season of the heart. Getting to read the optimism and joy from these historical letters is sure to give any modern-day Scrooges a much-needed boost of Christmas cheer. And while life in 2017 may feel like it could not be more different than life in 1917, these letters prove that the things that really matter change a lot less than we think.