VIA| Exactly 100 years ago, 7-year-old Homer Mellen penned an eloquent Christmas wish list to Santa Clause that in retrospect puts our contemporary culture ofunchecked greed and materialism to pure shame.
“Dear Santa Claus,” Homer wrote in proper cursive, according to ABC News. “Will you please send me a box of paints, also a nine-cent reader, and a school bag to put them in.”
“And if you have any nuts, or candy, or toys to spare, would you kindly send me some,” he continued writing. He concluded his elegant letter by writing that if Santa were to do those things, “You will please a seven year old boy.”
“It says so much about the lack of appreciation for those things that truly are a special gift,” Homer’s son, Larry Mellen, 79, said in comparing his father’s letter to those of modern kids. “We just take it for granted that you’re going to have that stuff at Christmas time, or any other time for that matter.”
In fact, according to a study cited by the U.K. Daily Mail two years ago, the average child’s Christmas list these days contains $1,400 worth of toys and goodies.
It is this absurd and inappropriate desire for abundance that initially inspired Homer’s granddaughter, Laurie Bloomfield of Nova Scotia, to share the note with reporters.
“I’m a teacher, so as teacher I get to hear a lot of kids’ wishes,” she said. “What I find with this generation is they want to talk a lot, they want to put out a lot of information. They have lots to say and want to tell it all.”
Once upon a time, however, in the age of little boys like Homer Mellen, children were quiet, respectful and, more importantly, more appreciative of the simple things in life.
“When my father was young, to put your stocking up with care and knowing that you were going to get maybe an orange, that was the magic of Christmas,” Homer’s son, Larry, concluded.
Now try giving a modern child an orange for Christmas and see what happens …
Warning: You may need bandages, if not a wheelchair.
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