This letter to Santa dates back to 1933. (submitted)

Column: Simple Santa letter a timeless treasure

Little Billy Plant knew exactly what he wanted and he matter-of-factly asked for it, too.

Late last week Lisbeth Plant submitted a letter to the Citizen offices, but it was not a letter to the editor.

It was a letter from her husband Billy Plant, to Santa Claus, from back in 1933. He was six at the time.

(Obviously he wasn’t her husband when he was six. but you probably figured that out.)

The 84-year-old letter has the sweetest, tidiest printing — with carefully punctuated sentences and, like most letters to the Big Guy, it included a request for toys.

Little Billy Plant knew exactly what he wanted and he matter-of-factly asked for it, too. No beating around the bush for Billy. The letter, in its entirety, reads:

Dear Santa Claus,

Please bring me something for Christmas.

I would like a train, and a crane.

your friend,

Billy Plant.

That was it. A train and a crane. It took just 20 words to get his point across. I’m sure Santa would have loved his brevity, given the volume of letters he tends to receive.

It’s an old adage and I certainly don’t claim to have come up with it, but the more things change, the more they stay the same sometimes. By that I mean, it’s refreshing because, to this day, what little boy wouldn’t want a train and a crane? What’s different now, I suppose, is I am certain there are a great many little girls out there these days who wouldn’t mind those as gifts, as well. I know both my kids would be thrilled if Santa deposited those under their tree.

Now roughly 90 years old, young Billy Plant is one of the few remaining Second World War veterans left. He served in the navy. Born in Chemainus, he grew up in Ladysmith and now lives in Cobble Hill.

Now, what I don’t understand is how the Plants still are in possession of this special letter.

“When we were married in 1999 we went through some old boxes that he had and I found that letter folded up in an old envelope,” Lisbeth explained. “I thought ‘gosh, this is so precious’ so I framed it and every Christmas we bring it out and it hangs as a Christmas decoration.”

How sweet is that? Grab your toothbrush because it gets even sweeter.

“After we’d been married a few years, I actually gave him a train for his Christmas present,” Mrs. Plant said with a giggle.

Young or old, trains are just plain cool.

I do wonder, though, if six-year-old Billy ever did get his requests fulfilled back in 1933. If he’s still in possession of the letter does that mean it never made it to Santa Claus? Or did Santa have some other way of knowing what Billy wished for? Perhaps some questions are best left up to the wide-eyed imaginations of our children…

Just Posted

Cowichan trio helps BC to gold at rugby westerns

Team BC wins gold in U18 boys, bronze in U18 girls division

Sarah Simpson Column: Sticks and stones will burst our pockets…

Over the weekend my family of four joined my mom and step-dad… Continue reading

Piggies preparing for return to the pitch

Rugby club looking for players, coaches and bus drivers

Mid Island field lacrosse ready for revival

Boys’ teams set to join continuing girls program

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Most Read