Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2013

What a difference 100 years makes

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Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

Visions of sugarplums are no longer dancing in the heads of children as they fantasize about what they are going to ask Santa Claus to bring them for Christmas. The sweet treats have been replaced with the latest fancy games, toys and technology.

Family history and genealogy website MyHeritage did a study comparing Christmas wish lists from 1913 to today, based on Dear Santa letters found in historical newspaper collections.

“As the holiday season approaches, we looked through historic Dear Santa letters in MyHeritage’s newspaper collection and saw that kids today ask for much more expensive and elaborate items,” MyHeritage chief marketing officer Ori Soen told ABC News.

In a blog entry at blog.myheritage. com/2013/ 12/dear-santa-then-and-now the poster explains that the search led to some interesting discoveries.

“Our newspaper collection includes [more than] 120 million pages dating back to 1609 and a quick search using the keywords ‘Dear Santa’ brings really interesting results,” the blog states.
“The further back we looked, the more interesting – and frequently more simple – the requests became. It added color to the lives and times of our ancestors, particularly when we looked at what children are asking for this year.”

While it is obvious that children in 1913 did not have iPads and Barbies, it was shocking to see the most coveted item was candy and not toys.

Here is the 1913 Top 10 list and the 2013 Top 10 list for comparison.

1913
1. Candy
2. Nuts
3. Rocking Horse
4. Doll
5. Mittens/gloves
6. Toy Train
7. Oranges
8. Books
9. Handkerchiefs
10. Skates

2013
1. Furby Boom
2. Teksta Robotic Puppy
3. LeapPad Ultra
4. Flying Fairy
5. Big Hugs Elmo
6. Barbie Dream House
7. Giggly Monkey
8. Nerf Gun
9. Ninja Turtles
10. Legos

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