First graders provide Christmas cheer for SCR staff

By KATIE MCDOWELL / Lifestyles Editor

One of my favorite parts of my job is our annual “Letters to Santa” special section.

We received hundreds of letters from first graders across in 19 public and private schools across the county this year. After picking up the letters, the Shelby County Reporter elves got to work typing the letters for Santa.

I don’t have children yet, so the letters are a fun way to find out what toys are popular each year. Nintendo DS, iPads and iPods are always popular, but I like discovering the new fads. I remember when Silly Bandz became popular several years ago.

This year, four-wheelers and American Girl dolls are popular, although those usually are spelled “fur whilir” and “merckin girl” dolls. The spelling — and the students’ honesty — is the best part about typing the letters.

Some of the teachers include a translation for the more creative spelling, but often we’re on our own to decipher the letters.

It’s hilarious, and the reporters often share our favorite misspellings or requests with each other.

Here are a few of my favorite requests from this year: “fone with dimond’s on it,” “orill cucking set” (a real cooking set), “chrok” (truck) and an “elektric skubr” (electric scooter).

Then there was the girl who asked for a “faeck mustache.” I have no idea why she wants a fake mustache, but she won my heart with her quirky request.

I’m pleased to report that Shelby County’s first graders were polite with their requests. Many of them thanked Santa and checked in on Mrs. Claus, the elves and the reindeer.

“I’m so placd (pleased) you do this avey (every) December,” read one letter.

The “Letters to Santa” special section, which will include Christmas drawings from some students, will publish in the Dec. 19 issue of the Shelby County Reporter. We at the Shelby County Reporter were happy to help deliver local first graders’ wish lists to Santa.

We hope these letters will bring a smile to your face and put you in the Christmas spirit. I know it did for our staff.

Katie McDowell is the lifestyles editor for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at 669-3131 ext. 19 or by email at