... Santa's reply - 1959 - (age 5)
Thank you for the nice note. I will bring you some presents, because I hear you have been a good little girl. I'm afraid the dolly at Stop 'n Shop is a little too high for me to reach, so don't hold your breath on that one. And I can't guarantee that your Mommy's new baby will be a girl. I'm sure if it is a boy you will love him just the same.
... Santa's reply - 1962 - (age 8)
Thank you for the long and detailed Christmas list. It is always helpful to have the page numbers and reference codes from the Sears catalog. I don't think I will be able to exchange your younger sisters for two kittens. Sorry about that. The exchange policies are pretty strict here at the North Pole.
... Santa's reply - 1964 - (age 10)
My goodness! You are certainly a very devoted Beatles fan. I didn't realize there were so many items available with Paul McCartney's picture on them. Please keep in mind that the Beatles' "music" is insipid and lacking in all intrinsic value. My reindeer and I will be happy if you listen to Bach or Mozart instead.
... Santa's reply - 1966 (age 12)
Thank you so much for informing your little sisters that I do not exist. I can certainly understand why you do not want to hang around with dopey girls who still believe in Santa. I'm sure your motives were pure.
I have to say, I am encouraged by the fact that you still took the time to write me a letter. Perhaps when you are a little older you will find a way to reconcile your practical side with that little glimmer in your heart that urges you to believe in someone who sees you when you're sleeping, knows when you're awake, and loves you just the same whether you are naughty or nice. Perhaps you will realize that it's the gift in the manger that really matters, not the gifts under the tree. Perhaps you will even appreciate the priceless gifts bestowed on you by your quirky parents and your unbearable sisters.
In the meantime, even though you are clearly too intelligent to believe in me, please feel free to keep writing. I promise to answer, every time.