Letter to Santa returned to man 70 years later

Posted at 4:55 PM, Dec 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-13 16:55:24-05

A Christmas story from England includes an amazing find and a lesson in kindness.

Builders found a Christmas wish letter in a chimney more than 70 years after it was written and decided to surprise its author with the presents he asked for.

The father and two sons were remodeling a house in Caversham, England.

The letter was written to the man the young author called "Father Christmas" - another name for Santa Claus.

It was a long wish list that included clothing and "any toys you have to spare."

Lewis Shaw, the builder who found list said, "I saw it stickin' out the top, and so I looked at it. It was quite hard to read at first. It took us quite a while to go through it really and to read it back slowly and sort of find out what was in it. And really, it was quite amazing actually."

David Haylock wrote the letter when he was about six years old. He's now 78. And he remembers the letter.

"I think I was rather precocious in asking for a silk tie. I'm sure this was not the only one but I can remember with my mother bending down and putting it up the chimney, cause the chimney had sort of a wedge shape in it and waiting for the draught to take it up," Haylock said.

The builders decided to answer the letter, which also asked for a drum, a box of chalk, soldiers and indians, slippers, and a pencil box.

The family bought and wrapped the presents and gave them to Haylock along with his letter.

"My grandchildren, they were amazed because they don't do notes to Father Christmas. They send him an email," Haylock said.

Haylock described the gesture as "lovely" but said he would wait to open the gifts until Christmas day.