1A little girl asks Santa to help her grieving family
St. Joseph resident Barbara Carter lost her 1-year-old daughter in a tragic accident in January 2014. Three years later, eldest daughter Lora wrote to Santa with a Christmas wish that would give the family some closure for the death of her baby sister Kimmy.
"I wish for nothing for me, except a hoodie that has Kimmy's name on it, and a headstone for sissy in heaven."
Kimmy died from hypothermia just three days after her first birthday, when the family lost power during a severe snowstorm, and there were complications with the furnace right next to her crib. Carter explained that she has been unable to purchase a headstone for her late daughter because of the expense. She said whenever the family visits Kimmy's grave, Lora and her other two children are sad to see that Kimmy's is the only grave without a headstone.
Carter posted the letter on her Facebook page to share with her friends, but it has since gone viral. Her friend, Hannah Wilson, set up a Go Fund Me campaign to collect donations for Kimmy's headstone as an effort to fulfill Lora's Christmas wish. They have a goal to raise $3,000.
2A boy wrote a letter to Santa asking for the return of his mom and some food
In 2015, one little boy from North Carolina had two humble Christmas wishes for Santa Claus—for his mom to come back, and for food.
In a heartbreaking letter to the North Pole, the boy begged Santa for things many children will never have to ask him for in their lifetime, including bringing his "mom back alive," toys for his sister, a few video games, and "some more food."
One woman, Christian Wilson, was so moved by the letter that she reached out to the child's teacher to help the family in any way she could. She also sent it to a local television station to rally the support of the community to help not only the child who wrote the letter but any other kids facing similar conditions.
3Child immigration detainees ask Santa for freedom
The Obama administration still refuses to release children held for a second year in the notorious Berks immigration detention center in Leesport, Pennsylvania, despite a federal court ruling that they should be immediately released into the care of family members in the U.S.
Seventeen mothers and their 19 children, all fleeing the violence of the U.S. war on drugs in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, remain in the facility as they await an appeal to the Supreme Court about the legality of their detention and deportation orders.
One single mother, whose toddler son, Said, has now spent almost half his life behind bars, wrote a letter to Santa asking for his "liberty.” Another child detainee asked for "same freedom as any other girl, and on this day, the only thing I ask is to be with the person who is waiting for me on the outside, and that person has a very tiny heart (referring to her baby sister)."
4A 12-year-old boy requests a heart for his ailing mom
Arnulfo Guerra Jr.,12, is hoping for a real Christmas miracle, and he's turning to Santa Claus for help, asking for his mother to get the heart transplant she needs.
The letter reads:
I believe in you and the miracles, Santa I don't want toys for me, only I want a (healthy) heart for my mom, she's sick, her diagnostic is transposition of the great (arteries) (T.G.A). I'm sad for her she's 46 years and I only 12, next March 18 I will be 13 teen, we need her for many years more, me and my Dad pray all days for mom. Only I want is to see my mom (healthy) and happy.
Channelview Fire Department read the letter, and they visited Guerra's family to drop off presents and provide words of encouragement.
"For him to completely to be selfless and not ask for anything else other than his mom to be healthy for Christmas," said paramedic Katya Garza. "You know, it really put us back."
5Two century-old letters from impoverished siblings are discovered in a fireplace
A New Yorker made an amazing discovery while cleaning his fireplace in December 2015. Among the dust and charred rubble under the chimney of his Hell's Kitchen home, Peter Mattaliano found two separate century old letters to Santa.
The letters were written by Alfred and Mary McGann, siblings in an Irish Catholic family who at the time of writing (1905 and 1907) appeared to be around six and nine years old.
The notes detail humble requests. Mary's letter is heartbreaking in its message of generosity and apparent poverty:
“Dear Santa Claus, I am very glad that you are coming around tonight. My little brother would like you to bring him a wagon which I know that you cannot afford, so I will ask you to bring him whatever you think best. Please bring me something nice what you think best. Please do not forget the poor.” The second letter, written by Mary's brother Alfred, asks for a drum and a hook and ladder from the man in red.
Mattaliano did some research and found neither had children, and both apparently died in Queens in their 80s. He hoped to pass on the letters to their relations but has so far failed to find any blood relatives.
6A letter to Santa from a deceased boy is found in a family encyclopedia
A little boy's last letter to Santa was discovered by his family inside a long forgotten book in 2015—almost 50 years after his death.
Nine-year-old Paul Trench asked for just a handful of small gifts—a Subbuteo game, a "toch" (misspelled) and toy cars and buses.
Paul died suddenly in 1967 from a freak viral infection which was never adequately explained. Paul's brother Ray, now 66, said, "One week Paul had a medical at school, and the next week he was gone. What strikes me is how modest his requests were compared to the expectations of some of the Veruca Salts of these days and the gimme, gimme, gimme culture. I can just imagine my little brother sitting there writing the note.”
7The couple who answers every letter to Santa that comes to their address
Jim Glaub and Dylan Parker aren't sure how or why their Manhattan address became known as Santa's house, but each November the mailbox fills up with letters from hopeful children trying to reach the big man in red. Rather than mark them return to sender or toss them as junk mail, the couple has embraced the letters, even though they don't live at that at address anymore.
The duo still works each year to have each Christmas letter fulfilled by a volunteer sponsor and have started a Facebook page called Miracle on 22nd Street, where people can take a letter that the couple selects at random and fulfill it by sending a gift to the child who wrote it. Thanks to the help of social media, word of mouth, and a short film by Redglass Pictures on the project, no letter to Santa has gone unanswered.
Glaub says and it's both astonishing and sweet to read how some kids ask Santa for things for other people along with, or even instead of, gifts for themselves.
8A little girl asks Santa for help in finding her lost dog.
Seven-year-old Isla Kerr was heartbroken when her Boston terrier Dolly went missing in 2015 and decided a letter to Santa was the best way to get her back.
Isla's handwritten note read: “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is my dog to come back.
“I do not care about presents, all I care about is my dog Dolly to come back. I miss her so much and love her."
The family also shared posters of their lost dog around town. Santa delivered—just five days later, Isla was reunited with Dolly when her pup was spotted in a local park.