My Mom surprised me the other day with an artifact from my childhood. She ran across my letter to Santa Claus when I was four. Check it out, I could write pretty good for a four year old!
No, I'm afraid I wasn't a savant at penmanship. The letter was written by my personal secretary before I could write, my Grandma. She jotted down the letter from my dictation. Let's break down this letter and analyze this childhood artifact. We'll be using a 1974 Sears Wish Book because this was always my go to catalog to make my Christmas list. Most everything listed in the letter came from this catalog.
1. Red Nosed Reindeer Bank - I'm assuming Rudolph was the red nosed reindeer I was asking for and not a knock off like a Randolph or a Randy. Now as to the bank...I have no clue? There's not a Red Nosed Reindeer bank listed in the '74 Wish Book. I did a google search and the only Red Nosed Reindeer bank I spotted is a metal one from the 1950's
. Apparently, Santa wasn't able to come up with one because I never owned a Red Nosed Reindeer bank!
2. Christmas Tree - Um...that was an easy one for Santa. Why did I ask for a Christmas tree? I guess I was worried we would not have one that year. Remember I was still a Christmas newbie and was trying to learn about all these crazy traditions.
3. Planet of the Apes - I was crazy about the POTA TV show and even though my Grandma wasn't specific (or maybe it was me) on what type of Apes I wanted, I'm sure I was asking for the Mego action figures. At that time, I had a Spider-Man Mego (my first action figure) and these Apes figures looked too awesome not to ask for. Unfortunately, Santa didn't bring any Apes figures.
4. Play-Dough Fire Truck - I like that my Grandma spelled Play-Doh, Play-Dough. (She was an amazing cook and I'm sure she was thinking about cookie dough for all the Christmas cookies she needed to bake.) From the list, this was my main Santa gift in 1974. At age four, I wanted to grow up and become a fireman. Playing with the Play-Doh Pumper No. 9 was the closest I ever came to that career choice. I had so much fun playing with this toy.
5. Clothes - Really? OK, I have a hard time believing I asked for clothes. I betcha my Grandma asked me, "You would probably like to ask Santa for some clothes, right?" She baited me to say clothes, I know it! Anyway, if I had to pick, I'm sure I went for the Toughskins!
6. Trap - It's a trap! A trap? Hmm...now this is an odd thing to ask for. Santa actually came through with this gift and I'm sure it had my parents laughing that I asked for it, especially my Dad. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, but not trapping. I don't know why I wanted a trap. I think I wanted to trap a squirrel or a rabbit for a pet. I do have memories of spending hours outside waiting for something to crawl inside my trap. I never trapped any critters and that was probably a good thing.
7. Toy Chair - Another odd choice, but at least not as odd as a trap. Apparently I wanted a chair that fit my little size. Something I could sit in and watch TV with the rest of the family. Santa came through with a toddler sized rocking chair. This was a great rocker until I outgrew it a couple of years later.
8. Giant Paint Box with Brush - Drawing, coloring, painting. These were my favorite things to do as a kid and even though I'm not sure if this was the set I got from Santa, I usually got crayons and paint sets each Christmas.
9. New Snoopy Tooth Brush - I guess I wore out my old Snoopy tooth brush and needed a new one. Glad I was concerned with dental hygiene as a child.
10. Cowboy Hat - The hat I got was more of a straw cowboy hat, but it worked. I ran around the house with my trusty broom steed, cap guns and my brand new cowboy hat. I loved cowboy and western stuff until I saw Star Wars.
11. Soldiers/Army Men - Plastic army men were the best! Even though they were a no frills type of toy, they were lots of fun and gave me hours of play. Hundreds of times I waged war on the shag carpet. They were even more fun when I became a teenager. The perfect accessory for fireworks and bb guns!
12. A Big Box of Crayons - See number eight.
13. A Robot Toy - I flipped through the Sears Wish Book and didn't see any robot toys. Not sure what kind of robot toy I was asking for. I was crazy for robots at the young age of four, so I guess I just wanted my own robot. Santa didn't find a robot for me, so I was robotless that year.
I hope Santa enjoyed the plate of cookies and milk we left for him next to the fireplace.
Thanks for helping me analyze my letter to Santa. Even though I didn't get everything on the list, I think Santa did OK for me back during the Christmas of 1974. Don't tell Santa, but I still kind of wish he would have had a Mego Planet of the Apes figure in his bag.