Even a chimp can give a gift
Historic Santa letters can offer a few ideas
Last updated 11/23/2021 at 5:11pm
Perhaps the most famous gifts were gold, frankincense and myrrh, delivered to a newborn King.
But our history of gift giving goes well beyond Jesus’ birth, and even beyond our species.
“Whether it was an unusually shaped rock, a tooth from an animal, the bark from a tree or some other item that was natural in origin, the giving of gifts was certainly common behavior long before we became an advanced civilization,” the website curioushistory.com tells us.
As tools were developed, the gifts became more elaborate – holes drilled into those animal teeth and stones, for example, so the receiver could display them on a necklace.
And the practice is not limited to people.
“Anthropologists have noted that male chimpanzees often offer gifts of food to female chimps,” author Kevin Martin reported in a 2020 report for magellantv.com .
“ … (S)cientists who study them explain that the actual purpose of this gift-giving is to form bonds and assist in trust-building.”
In our evolved society, we exchange gifts year round in efforts to form bonds and build trust, and the practice is particularly healthy around the holidays.
What’s the best present to give? That can be complicated … unless the recipient is a child. Then all you have to do is ask them what they’d like Santa Claus to bring.
So have fun shopping, and if you need any help: Here’s a sampling of historic letters to Santa from area children:
I am a little girl 6 years old. I think I have been a good girl, and I want you to bring me a doll and doll buggy.
Also bring my little brother Wayne something nice, and remember my teacher Mrs. DeShazo and all the little girls and boys.
Margaret Ann Gilliland
I am 10 years old and I want a magic skin doll, houseshoes and a basketball, a white bible.
I probably wont get all of these things because my birthday was December 3.
I have tried to be a good girl.
Please bring me a big doll with hair and sleepy eyes one that will say mama. I had rather have a real chosen baby, but if you don’t have a real baby a doll will do.
I’d like to get a record player and some tinker toys too, but I don’t want to be selfish and ask for more than my share.
Please don’t forget my little friends: Michelle Knos, JoElla McGee, Sandra and Durane Ruckman, Gary and Bory Coffman, Harry and David Dehtan, Synthia Knox, Sharon and Gary Calton, Marsha Davis, Sherral shell Grimes, Peggy Brannon, Gary Elliott, Early June and Bwerly Butler, Sharon Bozarth, Drexal Douglas, Cyntha Black, Jackie Bishop, David Turner, Mary and Melinda Brown, Patty Schrandies, Carron Compton, Corla Kay Morrison, Ronnie Dunnaway, Dickey Bates and all the other nice little girls and boys to.
Please don’t forget to stop by the home furniture and vote for my Mother, I know she would like to have one of those nice gifts they have in their window.
I wish you a Marry Christmas.
Melba Doretha Self
120 N. Globe Ave.
PS Please don’t forget the nice employee’s at the Portales Daily News
I have tried to be a goodboy, Santa. I am 4 years old.
I wold like for you to bring me a set of cowboy guns, and would like a flashlight, and cowboy and Indian set, and also some candy, nuts and fruit.
Don’t forget all the other little boys and girls.
Gary Bill Bullock
I am nine years old. I have brown hair and blue eyes. I have three brothers and I am the only girl.
I want a bicycle, and a watch.
Jerry wants a dump truck and a train. Robbie wants some cards.
I hope you and your reindeer get along on the trip. You must be busy getting the toys ready.
I hope you have a merry Christmas.
Mr. Roberts teaches us music. He is very good at teaching music.
You might want to know who my best pals are. They are Barbara Walker, Doris Smith and Betty Chambers.
Bring some candy and nuts.
Bring Mother and Daddy something also.
Linda Mae Alford
I thank you for the toys last year.
I want a duck named Waddles.
Billy Kay likes a red fire truck.
I want a BB gun and a box of BB’s.
Give daddy a tie and mother a puppy.
We’re mailing our letter early because we know you will have so much mail to read. We are two boys Glen and Robert Crone.
We love you very much and hope your well. Guess you and your little evelfs are busy. Mome says you have to work very hard all year there are so many children.
Santa I am Glen 9 years old I would like a football suit shaps books boots and cloths candy and fruit.
Santa my name is Bobby I want shaps gun and holster boots books games and clothes candy and fruit.
Santa remember mother and daddy and all our friends all over the world.
Bobby & Glen Crone
100 N. Globe
Please bring me a bicycle rocking horse and a doll.
I love you Santa. I am a five year old girl.
910 Abilene Ave.
I go to school at Dora I am in the second grade my teachers name is Mrs. Yarbrough and I sure like her.
I would like you to bring me a wagon a doll that I can comb and curl her hair.
And a nursers set.
Patsy Ann Hitt
How are you? I am just fine.
I enjoyed seeing you and your reindeer at Portales.
For Christmas I would like a white basketball suit with gold numbers. Number 66.
And I want a bow and a sack full of sharp pointed arrows.
And I want pellet gun.
Good by Santa. I have tried to be good this year.
Please bring me a cement mixer truck, a guitar and an airplane that lands in water.
My name is Widdy Gromowsky.
I would like to have a transistor radio and a football for Christmas. I have been trying to be a good boy.
Thanking you in advance.
Love, your friend
P.S. Please bring me a camera also.
You are coming to my house because I have been a good girl.
I have helped my mother wash the dishes, and dust the furniture and babysit when she is gone.
Please bring me a beauty pollar doll. Thank you.
I have been good and sometimes bad. I hope you will come to my house.
I want a firetruck for Christmas and I would like a buffalo hunter set. And a bike.
I like you Santa. I hope you will come to my house. I help my mother and father around the house all day.
I want a real horse and hay and baby tender love and some boot skates my size and some stoppers and a walkie-talkie and a tape recorder and a suzy homemaker and a watch and a trampoline and a sorry game and a game of elfe and old maid and a magic wand and a real fairy and a real barn big enough for a horse to fit in it. Love,
I want a boxing robot for Christmas and a bicycle. I’m 8 years old and I wil leave you some candy for you and Mrs. Santa Claus. Your friend,
I love you, I have tried to be real good this year.
Please bring me a mean-mountain rumbler set and a guitar.
My sister Shannon had an accident and had to have her eye operated on in Roswell. She was a very good little girl, she is only four. She also wants a guitar and a baby tender love that talk
We will leave you something to eat and drink. Thank you for what you brought us last year. We love you.
Jerry and Shannon Snipes
I am five years old and I try to be good sometimes.
Would you please bring me a doll chest to keep my doll clothes in.
For my cat, please bring a toy mouse with a bell on it so my cat can chase it.
I’ll leave you a snack and some carrots for your reindeer.
I am eight years old and I have been pretty good except to my sister.Would you please bring me a Mean Mountain Hot Wheels set and some clothes. Please leave all boys and girls in the world presents too.
P.S. I’ll leave you some hot chocolate and cookies and cheese for Santa Mouse.
My name is Kaylene Sasser and I am nearly seven years old. I am writing this letter for me and my little sister Julie who is four years old.
For Christmas I want a Smarty pants doll and a vanity set.
Julie also wants a smarty pants doll and a basket full of three kittens with their mother. She saw this in a catalogue.
Bye Santa Claus and Mrs. Santa Claus.
Kaylene and Julie Sasser
My name is Shannon and I have been a pretty good girl. I hope you have been felling okay.
For Christmas I would like a pretty doll with some clothes, a doll stroller, a litebrite, a desk with some chalk, and some things for my stocking.
Please don’t forget my Little siter, Kari. She wants a doll, a doll buggy, a talking telephone, and a mattel see-n-say.
Well, have a merry Christmas and I will leave you some cookies and a coke.
Luv ya lots,
age 4 ½
age 1 ½
P.S. Give Rudolph a Kiss for us.
I have been a good little girl and have helped Momma and Terry with the housework.
For Christmas, I would like a pair of houseshoes with Ernie and Bert on them. Also a new pair of shoes some cloths, a Mary Poppins album, and some crayons.
Please bring my brother Andy age 2, a choo-choo, a plane a boat, a car, and some cloths.
I will leave you some cookies and milk. I will leave the reindeer some carrots.
I love you,
Amy Elaine Anson