100 Year Old Christmas List From A 7 Year Old Boy Shows How Materialistic Our Society Has Become

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100 Year Old Christmas List - Homer MellenIf there were no presents at all, would you still want to celebrate Christmas? 100 years ago, a little seven-year-old boy named Homer Mellen sent Santa Claus a letter asking for “a box of paints, also a nine cent reader, and a school bag to put them in.” And he added that if Santa happened to have “any nuts, or candy, or toys to spare” that he would love to have some. My, how times have changed. Today, nearly all of us expect to be showered with presents on Christmas morning, and then almost immediately people begin posting photos of their “Christmas loot” on social media websites such as Facebook. And as you will see below, the “Rich Kids of Instagram” have taken boasting about wealth to an extreme that nobody has ever seen before. Our society has become deeply, deeply materialistic, and whatever “meaning” Christmas once may have had has become almost completely lost at this point.


When I first came across this 100 year old Christmas list, I was quite stunned. First of all, this young boy was able to express himself far better than most seven-year-old boys can today. Secondly, his letter to Santa reflected a sense of humility and thoughtfulness that is extremely rare in this day and age. In case you cannot read the letter that I have posted below, here is what it says

“Dear Santa Claus,” the boy begins in cursive handwriting. “Will you please send me a box of paints, also a nine cent reader, and a school bag to put them in.”

He modestly continues, “And if you have any nuts, or candy, or toys to spare, would you kindly send me some.” If so, Homer concludes, “You will please a seven year old boy.”

The Mellen family kept and cherished this note for 98 years in a little box containing “private little things like locks of hair, or the first picture that was taken,” Mellen explained, in order to “put away for memories for grandchildren.”

100 Year Old Christmas List - Homer Mellen

I don’t know about you, but that letter touched my heart, and it made me long for an era that has long since passed away.

In 2015, things are very different. Most people spend the month of December eagerly anticipating all of the stuff that they are about to get, and this is ingrained in our children from a very early age.

If you don’t think that this is true, just spend some time on the “Rich Kids Of Instagram” Tumblr page this holiday season. You will see example after example of rich kids boasting about the stuff they hauled in over their holidays.

To these young adults, Christmas is far better when you are rich. And from a worldly perspective, it is hard to argue with their logic. Just check out how “rich kid” Serena Marron spent her holiday season last year

Need a break from parties? Spare a thought for Serena Marron, who is waking up after a week of uninterrupted revelry that started at lunchtime on Boxing Day.

That was when the 20-something student, who lives in New York, stepped off a private jet on the holiday island of St Kitts in the Caribbean and took up residence on a 62m motor yacht called the Apogee.

The next week saw her spend her days lying on the deck of the yacht (which costs £350,000 a week to charter) and nights flexing her Wall Street financier father Donald’s credit card in exclusive bars, restaurants and nightclubs.

In just two days, Serena and friends lunched at the £300-a-head Hotel Isle de France on St Barths, drank £150 fishbowl cocktails at the Le Thi nightclub and knocked back £400-a- bottle champagne at Nikki Beach bar.

She ended this bender shortly before dawn yesterday, posing bleary-eyed at £3,000-a-night Villa Rockstar at the Eden Roc hotel.

Does that sound like any Christmas that you have ever had?

And check out how 20-year-old “rich kid” Evan Luthra spends his dough

Another major spender is self-made millionaire Evan Luthra, who boasts 126,000 Instagram fans.

‘I go to clubs and spend maybe $20,000 (£14,000) a night on alcohol or charter a yacht for $50,000 (£33,000) day,’ he said.

The 20-year-old who lives in LA has been developing apps since the age of 12 and the wealth he’s amassed allows him to travel around by helicopter.

‘One of the services I have, it’s like Uber for helicopter,’ he revealed. ‘You press the button and they give you a helicopter near you in five minutes.’

In his downtime, Evan likes to hire a yacht and post an invitation on his Instagram account for people to join him.

Within an hour he’ll have 20 girls texting him, eager to come along.

Where did these young people learn to act this way?

The truth is that this is what our society glorifies, and most of our young adults would act like this if they had enough money to do so.

As it is, the average American will spend 830 dollars on Christmas this year. Most people pile up lots of debt on their credit cards buying lots of useless stuff, and much of it will just end up sitting on a shelf somewhere taking up space. But most Americans do this year after year because society tells them that this is what they need to do in order to be happy.

Of course the truth is that most people do not find happiness during the Christmas season. In fact, the rate of suicide spikes to the highest level of the entire year during “the holidays”, and one survey found that 45 percent of all Americans say that they dread the Christmas season.

Where did we go wrong?

If Christmas really is all about stuff, what does that mean for those that cannot afford to buy much? Are their holidays “worse” than those that have a lot of money for presents?

It is often said that “whoever dies with the most toys wins”, but I totally disagree with that. Our lives are not about the stuff that we accumulate, and we can’t take any of it with us when we die. Instead, our lives should be about loving God and loving each other.

Rather than teaching our children to greedily look forward to all of the goodies they are going to get on Christmas morning, what if we taught them to try to be people of great love?

How different would our society look?

Just something for you to think about as you and your family enjoy “the holiday season”…

  • RTL89

    A conversation that always stuck with me is when an ex-coworker and I were talking about “winning the lottery” I stated to him that if I ever won 1 million dollars, I would give half of it to people who REALLY need it, ad then spend the majority of the rets of my life living off the other half. He scoffed at me and said that “there’s no way I would last that long with that money”. And then he said “I’d last MAYBE 3 or 4 months before it would all be used up.
    Suffice it to say, him and his wife are in colossal amounts of debt and are signed up to every loan and credit card in the book.
    My point is, there are two different camps of people. The first one will save up that money and use it precariously as they traverse through life, always stashing away large amounts for unforeseen emergencies. The other camp just doesn’t care about the value of a dollar.

    • Jim Davis

      According to the end times wackos on this site, the world is going to end any day now so why not max out the credit cards and LIVE LARGE!

      • Kim

        What’s that gonna do for you? It won’t do anything and it won’t make these difficult times any better. Material things have a very fleeting effect on one’s mood and no beneficial effect at all on one’s spirituality. And “maxing” out your credit cards with no intention of paying it back is stealing.

        • Jim Davis

          If the world is ending, then there will be no one to pay back, so no harm, no foul!

          • Kim

            I can’t argue with that fact!

      • taisen43255

        If there is anyone that said that the world is going to end, they are WRONG! Yes we are in the end times or last days, but this does not mean that the world is going to end. What this means is that Jesus has opened at least 5 seals in revelation, and the prophecy will continue to be fulfilled until the tribulation has passed. Then, once that happens, Jesus will return to rule the earth for 1,000 years, then after that there will be a new heaven and new earth. I don’t remember if the new jerusalem is going to come down to earth once Jesus rules the earth, or after so don’t quote me on that.

        What we are seeing as of today is the prophecy in the bible and God’s word being fulfilled. God is being patient for people to repent for one thing, and I think those who have the holy spirit within them are doing everything that they can to fight back the spirit of the antichrist, and this may be the reason why everything hasn’t happened as of yet.

        The world isn’t ending, it’s just that the prophecy is being fulfilled. Keep your heart close to God, and pray so that he protects and saves you at all times. Nevertheless, stay safe, and God bless!

        • Jim Davis

          I’ve been hearing about Armageddon and The Second Coming since the 70s and people have been predicting it long before then even. Still hasn’t happened. Shemitah, Schmemitah.

          • taisen43255

            And I do think this is a problem when it comes to giving a specific date to when Jesus will return. Nobody knows the day or hour when he will return, not me, not you, not the author of this article, or anybody else except the father in heaven. But the thing that we do know is how close it is when he does return because of the signs that he gave us, and he told us to always be on the alert and watch for his return.

            Jesus has given his followers, and people in general many signs of his return in the bible. The seals in revelations which we can clearly see that at least 5 of them has been opened, false prophets, false christs, war, famine, plagues, diseases, earthquakes, and much more. This isn’t only giving people signs of his return, it is also giving people who have eyes to see and ears to hear that his prophecy is being fulfilled right in front of us as we speak!

            People are lovers of themselves and pleasure instead of loving of God, people are more and more cold and heartless, people are being killed and persecuted because they believe and have faith in Jesus and try to follow his ways. And speaking of people being lovers of pleasure, I realized that 666 actually represents King Solomon who was given wisdom and knowledge and riches by God, but then married multiple wives and concubines, and was lead astray by his wives and started to worship false gods.

            So 666 actually represents anyone who wants to follow their own ways and laws instead of God’s. Jim, I have absolutely no idea when Jesus will return, it could be next year, two years, 80 years, only God knows. But the thing is, I can as many people see the signs of his return with everything that is happening in this world as of now as he has told us in advance, and if you let God into your life, he’ll show you the signs too.

            And if you want to know the truth, this is God’s wrath as well because people do not want to repent for their sins. I guess the more and more people don’t, the less and less God is gonna restrain his delay. But like peter said, a day is like 1,000 years, and 1,000 years is like a day to the lord when it comes to being patient and waiting for people to repent for their sins, turning back to him, and wishing that they not perish. so maybe this is also why you heard about The Second Coming since the 70s and it hasn’t happened yet. I think we should all just do our best to keep our faith in God, and at least try our best to follow his commandments and repent as much as we can. Nevertheless, sorry for the rant, stay safe Jim, and God bless!

  • r2d2

    I think he wasn’t asking for a lot back then because an XBOX, Ipad, Iphone, drone, etc. didn’t exist back then.
    If nothing was invented yet I’d be asking for food also.
    When I was that age I didn’t get much either–mostly cheap stuff like from the dollar store. Also a lot of my clothes were from my older brother.

  • GetReal4U2

    Instead, our lives should be about loving God and loving each other…
    True word Michael…may God bless your family…very difficult times are ahead…

  • K

    Better to have a full soul, and not much in your pockets. Than what they have. Full pockets, and an empty soul. That is a hole, no amount of things can fill.

  • iris

    The real, eternal gift is that salvation is freely given through Jesus Christ for all who will receive Him in simple faith, and that then, God Himself will be with us (Emanuel). Towards the end of Psalm 73, Asaph says, “who do I have in heaven but You, and beside You, I want nothing on earth”. If we only realized that when all is said and done, we truly only have the only One we really need, and all else pales in comparison.

    • taisen43255


  • Sunny

    What If Jesus Had Been Born 2,000 Years Later in the American Police State?
    …interesting read ;-)

    • krinks

      He wouldn’t have been. He was born a Jew to fulfill the messianic prophecies of a coming Jewish Messiah. Had he been born here he would have been an impostor.

      • Jessy Scholl

        That isn’t true. If he was born today, he would be born a Jew in order to fulfill the messianic prophecies. The true impostor is the Roman Catholic Church which replaces Jesus with a piece of bread.

    • taisen43255

      IF Jesus had been born 2,000 years later in the American Police State, it would’ve been exactly as it was when he was born 2,000 years ago. And by that I mean that he would’ve been rejected now and he was rejected back then, he would’ve had disciples and people who follow him now as he did back then, and he would’ve been in the days of Noah (as we are now) as he was back then.

      And this is ironic or not, because this world being in the days of Noah is exactly when the son of man will return. Go back and read the old testament and see that in all honesty there is no difference in this world today, than it was back then. There was already a police state during the old testament, people worshiped idols and false gods, rejected God at times, gave in to their sexual desires and other sinful desires, etc.

      Reading from so many different websites I use to think that this was about a New World Order which was actually an Old World Order, but after reading the Old Testament for the first time in my life and continuing to do so, this is actually about going back to the days of Noah and the Old Testament days. There’s nothing new with what;s going on today, then there was in the Old testament, and Jesus warned us about all of these that would be happening now as if he wrote the bible yesterday.

      We just have to do our best to keep our faith in God, trust him, and follow his commandments as much as we can. Nevertheless, stay safe, and God bless!

      • iris


  • Kim

    Anyone claiming to be or endeavoring to be a Christian should stop celebrating Christmas immediately. It’s not a Christian “holiday” and has NO roots or any links or ties whatsoever to Jesus, his birth or his life or his ministry. Or any other Christian virtue/value found in the bible. The materialism we see today is just as much of an indictment on the “holiday” itself as it is on our unholy culture and the unholy times we live in.

    • Twinsister

      Well Kim, This is what I tell my Grandchildren, You see the Christmas tree, that represents the tree our Savior hung on and shed His blood for us so we could have eternal life with Him! The lights are the illumination for He is the light of the World.. and the presents represents the free gift God gave us through His Son!! Its all a matter of ones perception! We can use any distraction for Gods purpose! God Bless and Merry Christmas

      • Kim

        Keep deluding yourself and dishonoring God. Although I’m sure u care more about what u can get out of God than what you’ve ever given up for him, and by looks of your post u actually have a faith deficit. Tree killer. You should go hug your kids and teach them honest virtues. Oh i forgot, he doesn’t talk to you.

      • Maddog

        Repeat, Its Nimrods birthday and the x-mas tree is a phallic symbol his mother/wife created to celebrate his return.

      • Rick

        What you are telling your grandchildren amounts to a pack of lies. Why do parents or grandparents think they can lie to their kids/grandkids and then tell them not to lie the rest of the year? All the symbols of Xmas are pagan to the core. Almighty God is the one who has stated how He is to be worshipped,
        in spirit and truth and not in lies. Our nation is
        going to pay a steep penalty for abandoning God’s true holy days (Leviticus 23) for paganism. Wake up Kim!

    • 21Grams

      True that. Baal, Osiris, whatever the name in any given religion /era. That’s whose birthday it is. And every symbol associated, is pagan oriented.

      • Maddog

        Its Nimrods birthday and the x-mas tree is a phallic symbol his mother/wife created to celebrate his return.

        • 21Grams

          Exactly. Same personage. Different names. I like the pic you use. Same one I use as my wallpaper.

    • Untergang07

      It seems education in North America has sunk to new lows.

  • Insults Are Easier

    Whats worse is kids arent even taught cursive anymore. They sure are dumbing us down.

  • LibertarianGrump

    Screw materialism! Grinding pre-industrial life was awesome. Polio was still a going concern, constant threats of dying of dysentery or infection. A world full of rural children toiling in the hot son next to their parents so they can grow enough to survive another year. Unless you were one of the few wealthy little city tikes like these who got to go to school for 4-5 years and learn their letters and numbers.

  • taisen43255

    Christmas is a mixture of Jesus Christ with pagan traditions. Take a
    look at what the prophet Jeremiah had to say about this tradition during the old testament days through the LORD:

    The Sovereignty of God
    1Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2Thus says the LORD, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them;…3For
    the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
    4″They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. 5″Like
    a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good.”…

    I think that this holiday can actually be a good day where people
    not only give presents to each other, but actually help the poor, help the needy,
    help the sick, and just spread love to each other and help each other peacefully. But, we must remove the Christmas title because it has nothing to do with Jesus Christ, and we must remove the practices of idol worship which includes the tree, decorating the tree, the lights, Santa Claus, I forgot the name but the bush circle thing where people kiss once their under it, etc. This can be a true day of giving, so let’s give it that title instead of Christmas since it has nothing to do with Jesus and his birth, and we should be worshiping and honoring Jesus everyday. Also, we know that God hates idolatry, and he becomes very angry and people suffer his wrath because of worshiping idols, like in Micah 5:10-15:

    Micah 5:10-15New International Version (NIV)

    10 “In that day,” declares the Lord,

    “I will destroy your horses from among you
    and demolish your chariots.
    11 I will destroy the cities of your land
    and tear down all your strongholds.
    12 I will destroy your witchcraft
    and you will no longer cast spells.
    13 I will destroy your idols
    and your sacred stones from among you;
    you will no longer bow down
    to the work of your hands.
    14 I will uproot from among you your Asherah poles[a]
    when I demolish your cities.
    15 I will take vengeance in anger and wrath
    on the nations that have not obeyed me.”

    I don’t want to be on the LORD’s bad side, so please we can continue the generosity without all of the idol, occult, and witchcraft behind this holiday, and remove the title Christmas because it has nothing to do with Jesus, and everything to do with paganism. And we can bring in a new title like a Day of Giving to show our generosity without the idol practice behind it, or just not celebrate this day at all. If people understood the meaning behind Christmas and the occult practices because I’m certain many people don’t realize it, then they would understand what I’m trying to say. Nevertheless, stay safe everyone, and God bless!

  • VigilanteCaregiver

    Got an early Christmas present today!

    Planned Parenthood in Utah lost their court case against State of Utah. The injunction prohibiting Federal funds to that organization performing infanticide stands!!

    Utah PP (childish name) claim’s no baby body parts are sold; I seriously doubt that. Leftist’s here are starving for cash. And we’re gonna keep starving ’em.

    This is what I wanted in my stocking – life sanctified by my elected Representatives!

    Happy Christmas!!!! :)

    • iris

      Glad to hear that! Praying our “enlightened” state finds a little mettle regarding the rights of the pre-born.

    • Gay Veteran

      “…This is what I wanted in my stocking – life sanctified by my elected Representatives!….”

      oh really? did you advocate ending our endless wars of aggression?

      oh, I forgot, you’re such a coward that you have a computer program which allows you NOT to see this message

  • Richard

    Hmmm… something doesn’t smell quite right. The letter was apparently written in London, yet the ‘boy talks about ‘cents’ and ‘candy, both concepts the British don’t have and never had. The British would have talked about ‘pennies’ and ‘sweets’. Sorry if I’m raining on someone’s sappy parade.

    • 21Grams

      You’re just a natural born analyst. Or pessimist. Same difference.

  • KSV

    I once only asked for scotch tape – circa 5 years- as I knew finances were tight. And was disappointed that my sacrifice was not accepted when I got the requisite number of presents (including the scotch tape.)

  • Peter Eng

    Do you have any Christmas letters from rich people of the same era?

    How about wish lists from poor people of this era?

    Maybe the wealthy were always corrupt, and the poor always more focused on essentials, and nothing’s changed except who has the money.

  • jbstoner43

    Great article. The parents deserve as much blame as the kids, because many parents allow their kids to become a slave to the materialism.