Every year the Scarsdale Parks and Recreation Department gives Santa a hand by setting up boxes for mail addressed to the North Pole in various locations throughout the village. After being collected and opened, every letter to Santa is responded to and then, we assume, forwarded to Ol’ Saint Nick himself. (Enjoy a slide show above of over 50 letters to Santa to get you in the holiday spirit, c/o Scarsdale's Recreation Department!)

As in years past, there is much overlap between what children are asking for, with virtual reality sets, specific dolls, Lego sets and video games being particularly popular this season. More than ever, they asked for a dog - or a puppy.

In their letters, children beseech Santa not only with wish lists, but why they belong on the “nice list.”

“I think I was good this year because although I argued with [my brother] a bit, I also played with him and helped him a bit,” a sister bargained with Santa. “Another thing I did well is turn in my homework on time and get a decent report card.”

“I listened to Mommy and my teachers at school. I was nice to my little sister and I wore my mask,” another child reminded Santa before asking for several Lego sets.

Some children are writing on behalf of their pets, lest they feel forgotten.

“Dear Santa Claus,” reads one. “This letter is actually from Peanut and Cream (our guinea pigs). They want bell pepper for Christmas. So please make that a red, orange, and yellow bag of bell peppers for them. Thank you!” A postscript confirms that “Peanut and Cream have been good guinea pigs!”

Other pets seem to have developed the ability to dictate their desires, such as the newest member of one Scarsdale family, Sobe, who asked for “a doggy bone” and “some treats”  — he even signed the letter to Santa with his own paw print.

But unlike in past years, children this year are aware that the global pandemic has indeed reached all corners of the globe. Several letter writers asked about Santa’s health and the health of those who work in his North Pole workshop. “Covid-19 has hit hard around the world. I care about your community,” wrote one empathetic soul. “I wish your reindeers, elves, and yourself a safe but merry Christmas.”

Another child thanked Santa for the Christmas spirit he has been spreading this year before asking for gifts. “It has been very hard on everyone with the pandemic,” the boy wrote. “I hope you have been staying safe as well.”

Other children were straight to the point, writing a few items but ultimately wanting a return to normalcy. Here’s one for the history books: “Dear Santa, This year is a tough year so I don’t expect to get EVERYTHING on my list, but ONE thing I REALLY want is for this pandemic to go away.”

A colorful one-sentence letter was even more to the point: “Dear Santa, I would like school to stay open so I can play with my friends.”

While Santa unfortunately is not privy to vaccine development and deployment protocols, he is doing his best to spread holiday cheer and remind children that he cares about them by responding to every letter, ensuring that every child receives a personalized note. Merry Christmas to one and all!

I want school open.jpg

(1) comment


I grew up in Scarsdale and remember my father driving me down to the village where I mailed my Santa letter. There was a box next to the Scarsdale National Bank, where my grandfather was President. I doubt it is still there.

I too had a letter published. I asked Santa to bring my Father a Barbie doll because

he was so fascinated with mine. He did receive one, she had long blonde hair in a high ponytail and a red one piece bathing suit. She was very beautiful and I was jealous because she way way prettier than mine who had a bubble haircut. It was in the early sixties, I wish I had it. Thank you for keeping up the tradition....they are heartwarming and represent what the season is really all about.

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