The Toys of Our Childhood: Toys From the 1950s - Page Banner




Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Père Noël, and Saint Nicolas are all names for Santa Claus and for many children, all around the world, Christmas means that Santa Claus will be coming to visit.

Through their Christmas catalogues, elaborate window displays and the Santa Claus parade, Eatons became synonymous with Christmas and childrens' letters to Santa came to be delivered to him via Eatons' Toyland. In fact, letters addressed to Father Christmas or Santa Claus from as far away as England or the United States often found their way to Eatons before being forwarded on to Santa Claus.

The letters we've included in this exhibit are all from the 1950's and 1960's, but the spirit and sentiments are timeless.

Envelope: Letters to Santa Claus, 1958


Letters to Santa Claus, 1958
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-162-0-570
Archives of Ontario





"Dear Santa,

My name is Jennifer. I can't wait until Christmas. I know that my mother and father give me toys, but I know that you fill my stocking.

Please bring Fluffy, my kitten, a treat. He has been a good little kitten so far. Please write a letter and please leave it on the fireplace. One night I heard your bells.

My little brother, Jim, is a year. He can walk, but he can't talk. I forgot to tell you I am 8 years old.

Is it true that you have Rudolph? If it is, please write it on the letter. I will leave something on the table for you. I can't believe that your reindeer fly. I had better go now.

Sincerely
Jennifer"


Letters to Santa Claus, 1958
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-162-0-570
Archives of Ontario

Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Dolls

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario





Winnipeg Christmas Catalogue, 1953-54: Hockey Game

Winnipeg Christmas Catalogue, 1953-54
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-11
Archives of Ontario

"Dear Santa:

How are you. I saw you in the parade yesterday and I love you.

I want to be a hockey players so could you please bring me some hockey skates for Christmas. I don't want to be selfish but if you can afford it I would also like a Spirograph, Green Ghost, Twister and my birthday will be on Christmas Day. Would you like to come to my party?

I promise to be a good boy until Christmas.

See you then.
Love Douglas"

Letters to Santa Claus, 1958
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-162-0-570
Archives of Ontario





Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Western Flyer Red Wagon

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario

Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Peddle Car

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario





"Dear Santa

May I have a record player for Christmas. I would like some records, too.

I will leave you three cookies and a drink of milk.

How is Mrs. Santa?

I love you and Mrs. Santa. If you want to call me call 555-1193.

Love Jayne"

Letters to Santa Claus, 1958
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-162-0-570
Archives of Ontario

Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Record Player

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario





Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Doll

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario

Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Doll Carriage

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario





Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Gene Autry Gun Set

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario

"Dear Santa,

My name is Peter. I am a good boy. My big brother helped me write this letter. He wants a hockey outfit for Christmas. I want a train. I will leave some food for you and Rudolph. Say "hi" to everyone at the North Pole for me.

Your friend Peter.

P.S. Don't come down our chimney or you will land in the furnace."

Letters to Santa Claus, 1958
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-162-0-570
Archives of Ontario





Christmas Catalogue, 1956: Toy Medical Kit

Christmas Catalogue, 1956
T. Eaton Company Records
Reference Code: F 229-231-0-17
Archives of Ontario





Christmas has always been a time of giving, and many groups work together to try and bring joy to the lives of those less fortunate. In London Ontario, groups like the Firefighters at the Central Firehall and the Women's Committee of the War Memorial Children's Hospital have done everything they can to make Christmas special for children in the area.

During the 1950's firemen at the Central Firehall in London repaired thousands of toys every year which were then given to orphans. In the video clip below some of the firemen are repairing toys while others ready the finished toys for delivery.

For Windows Media Player

483K

1.52MB

For Quicktime Player

1.61MB

2.76MB

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Video Clip: CFPL-TV news film, 11 December, 1954

CFPL-TV news film, 11 December, 1954
CFPL-TV fonds
Reference Code: F 4396
Archives of Ontario





Video Clip: CFPL-TV news film, 3 December, 1954

CFPL-TV news film, 3 December, 1954
CFPL-TV fonds
Reference Code: F 4396
Archives of Ontario

The members of the Women's Committee all pitched in to ensure that the girls at the hospital each got a new doll for Christmas. In the video clip below the women are gathering at the YMCA to put the finishing touches on the dolls they had made.

For Windows Media Player

496K

1.54MB

For Quicktime Player

1.63MB

2.80MB

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This video clip shows some young girls showing off their Christmas dolls at a YMCA building in London, Ontario.

For Windows Media Player

309K

1.00MB

For Quicktime Player

1.10MB

1.74MB

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Video Clip: CFPL-TV news film, 28 December, 1954
CFPL-TV news film, 28 December, 1954
CFPL-TV fonds
Reference Code: F 4396
Archives of Ontario