40 Adorable Vintage Photos of Kids Meeting Santa
One of the most magical Christmas traditions for children hasn’t changed for generations—visiting the Jolly Old Elf.
Santa visits Chicago
courtesy Betty Osincup/Reminsce
“Downtown Chicago had a lot of places to visit Santa, but in 1923 my sister SylviaBelle (right) and I saw him at the Marshall Fields store. In those days, kids didn’t sit on Santa’s lap. I look scared—which I was!—but I was only 4,” says Betty Osincup of Washington, Iowa. Discover what Christmas looked like 100 years ago.
All covered up
courtesy Lois Hullermann/Reminisce
“This photo always makes me think Santa wanted to be sure he wasn’t chilly, with his cap and beard covering everything but his eyes! I know our two daughters, Dianne and Lou Ann, were warm in their new mittens and happy with their Christmas stockings when this was taken in 1963 in Dyersville, Iowa,” says Lois Hullermann.
Dreaming of a doll
courtesy Sharon Rawlings Provence/Reminisce
“I was 6 years old and my sister, Brenda, was 8,” says Sharon Rawlings Provence of Granite City, Illinois. “I remember going to downtown Granite City to Santa’s Cabin in 1961 to tell Santa that I wanted a Tiny Tears doll. After visiting Santa, we walked through gently falling snow to Woolworth’s. What a fun store to visit at Christmas!” Read more heartwarming stories about meeting Kris Kringle.
courtesy Bonnie Baker Leuser/Reminisce
Triplets Barbara, Bonnie, and Allan Baker were 22 months old when they took this picture with Santa in 1952. Their mom bundled up all four of her kids and took a bus to Toyland at Robinson’s Department Store.
courtesy Charlotte Woodson/Reminisce
Charlotte Woodson’s kids, Ray, Barbie, and Shirley Ann, had no doubts after Santa greeted them as “the little Woodson children” in 1955. Their parents taught them that the real Santa Claus was the one at Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the rest were just helpers. This is the best Christmas town in every state.
courtesy John McGowan/Reminisce
John McGowan, 2, now of Ghent, New York, stares down the big man in 1950.
Scared of Santa
courtesy Barbara Adamcik/Reminisce
“My mother took me to see this not-so-jolly looking Santa Claus in nearby Bethlehem before Christmas in the early 1950s. I was scared, but I managed to ask for one thing: A Cadillac like the one my rich Uncle Larry drove. I never did get it,” says Barbara Adamcik of Freemansburg, Pennsylvania. Vintage letters to Santa will put you in the holiday spirit.
Present for her parents
courtesy Catherine Eddings/Reminisce
“After telling Santa what I wanted, he asked if I got my parents anything. I told him that my sister, Emma, 8, and I would give them a box of candy. I had no idea I was being recorded. When my parents played the record at home, I could be heard spilling the beans. Boy, was Emma mad at me. This was in 1950, when I was 5. I love my bangs and my Toni home perm. And I still have that recording,” says Cathy Eddings of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
courtesy Christopher Black/Reminisce
Christopher Black, now of West Jordan, Utah, smiles as sister Candy handles the tough negotiations in 1951.
courtesy Dottie Hatton Lasley/Reminisc
At age 2, in 1940, Dottie Hatton Lasley, now of Princeton, New Jersey, wasn’t afraid of her dad’s Santa mask. “But today,” she says, “it gives me chills!” This family gave Santa cheeseburgers, not cookies.