Cat T. Gardiner
Christmas Greetings - #3
*** Where It is Always Christmas ***
Not only do I adore this photograph's subject but I love that there is such a place as Christmas, Florida. Located 30 or so minutes from Orlando, Christmas has been a postal destination every year for the holiday postmark. Other towns across America share this special designation: Santa Claus, IN; North Pole, NY; Bethlehem, PA; Humbug, AZ; and Nazareth, KY, among others.
But there is more to Christmas, Florida than the obvious. The unincorporated town is steeped in history, having housed 2,000 US Army soldiers and Alabama volunteers at Fort Christmas during the Second Seminole Indian War (1835-1842.)
This post-war photograph serves to remind us of our own childhood letters mailed to Santa. Although there has always been a level of commercialism, it reminds us of the simplicity of childhood in the 1940s. Filled with hope and innocence, little Marion is depositing an unusual wish. How lucky she was to live so close to Christmas (town) and to hand deliver it directly to Santa!
Title: Marion Stockton and Santa Claus: Christmas, Florida Repository: State Library and Archives of Florida, Tallahassee, FL
Appeared in The Free Lance Star, December 19, 1947: With this caption: "Four-year-old Marion Stockton drove 35 miles from Orlando, Fla., to mail her letter to Santa Claus at this famous post office in Christmas, Florida. She is personally dropping her letter into Santa's bag between sucks on a lollypop. She confided that she's asking for a broom. Thousands of packages, letters, and cards pour into Christmas at this time every year, from all over the nation."
Until next photo, friends! Enjoy the season and tap into your own child-like wonder of Christmas. Keep 'Em Flying!