Editorial – Letters to Santa deadline nears

Published 8:36 pm Monday, December 5, 2022

The Times has been pleased to carry on an annual tradition that has special meaning to many of our readers — printing area children’s letters to Santa Claus.

Ever since an editor at The (New York) Sun penned the most popular editorial of all time, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” in 1897, newspapers and Father Christmas have been indelibly linked.

The opinion piece, the most reprinted editorial in the English language, was written in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon inquiring about Santa Claus’ existence after hearing from her friends that he wasn’t real.

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“Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so,’” she famously wrote.

Perhaps it’s their brutal honesty, hilarious requests or the simple fact that reading their letters takes us back to our own childhoods, but of the hundreds of pages of content we publish each year, the letters in our Christmas Greetings section seemingly outshine them all when it comes to community goodwill.

We are proud of this annual staple of the season that you can return to with your kids when they are grown and have small letter-writers of your own. It is a perfect way to make a memento you can hold onto forever. We believe it’s a good way to wrap up the year on a positive note.

We’ve put the call out to all the schools, so some of your kids may have already been writing — and dreaming — away. Teachers should email their students’ letters to us at news@smithfieldtimes.com no later than noon Wednesday, Dec. 7. Teachers of preschool, kindergarten and first and second grades in both public and private schools are encouraged to share their children’s wishes for this year’s letters to Santa.

Important note to both young and old: We make sure that every letter we receive before the deadline is transcribed before we responsibly forward them to the North Pole to the Jolly Old Elf himself.

This year the annual Christmas Greetings special section will be published in the Dec. 21 edition.