Over a hundred years ago, my grandfather Fred Kirk Hill (1903-1937), then nine years old, wrote a helpful letter to Santa Claus:
Dear Santa Claus:
How are you? I am fine and hope you are the same. There were two girls in our room this morning. Their names are Margaret Slyfield and Zella Kane. Margaret has been a naughty girl so I think that you ought not bring her any presents. And I think that you ought not to bring Zella any presents. The teacher had them stand up in the corner. I think you will have to come in your air ship, because there is no snow on the ground. I do not think there will be any Christmas Eve. I would like a cowboy suit, a bicycle and a good book to read for Christmas. I am going to speak for Christmas. It is “the map of Santa Claus.” I have three or four ponies and if one of your reindeer falls off of the houses you can go in the barn and put the harness on my ponies and hitch them up. They have not been hitched up before. You might have a run-away with them. And be sure you bring my ponies back or I will not let you take them again. I guess I will close.
From your friend,
I meant to post this some time ago but it ended up in my drafts folder. Christmas is still a long way away but why wait? It is a hilarious letter and the sooner I get it up on the internet, the sooner Margaret Slyfield or Zella Kane’s ancestors this might find it. Google is a great way to research your ancestors (if they have sufficiently atypical names) and I have discovered some fun tidbits this way.