Christmas Letters To Santa From 1913 To 2013: How Much Have Kids Changed In 100 Years? [VIDEO]

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100 years of letters to Santa Claus
How has our consumer habits changed in the past 100 years? Examining letters to Santa from 1913-2013

It’s less than two weeks till Christmas, and before Santa reads his list of who has been naughty and who has been nice, kids from all over the world post their letters to the North Pole, with their Christmas wish lists. But how much have the world, our kids and these wish lists changed in the past 100 years?

My heritage.com was able to find newspapers from 1913 to gather the top items our ancestors asked Santa for, and the results may shock you. So much so that if you gave some of these gifts to a child in 2013 they might think that this year they were put on Santa’s naughty list.

It’s important to note what exactly was going on in the world in 1913, 100 years ago. … Well firstly there was no Apple, no iPhone, no video games and certainly no dolls that could talk. Children played outside, yes outside, and they listened to songs and stories in person.

This life of simplicity with the lack of technology we see in toys today is reflected in the top items that were on their Christmas letters to Santa.

Nuts and oranges were popular gifts that kids in 1913 asked Santa for. Can you imagine your child’s reaction if they unwrapped a bag of peanuts on Christmas Day? Other items that would simply not make the cut include handkerchiefs, mittens, books, toy trains, skates or a rocking horse.

Kids in 2013 have been exposed to a digital era, it probably does not shock you that last year my 9-year-old niece got an iPhone because she loves Instagram and this year she asked for the new iPad. A lot has happened in the past 100 years, and the wants of the world’s children reflect that change.

Based on leading retailers like Walmart and Toys R Us my heritage.com created the comparative wish list based on what kids in 2013 want for Christmas. Bear hugs Elmo made the cut, as it seems a simple stuffed teddy bear simply won’t do. Kids today need interaction through technology, like with a Furby, giggly monkey, flying fairy or a robotic puppy, which all made the list. Other items kids are asking Santa for include a Barbie Dream House, Nerf Gun and Lego. In 2013 technology and innovation rules and governs our lives and our consumer habits. Just imagine the reaction you would get if you gave your son or daughter an orange for Christmas. In 2013 it might as well be coal. 

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