Enter our letters to Santa contest for a chance to be published in the magazine and win some prizes! Follow the competition on social media using #letterstosanta
With Christmas around the corner, the BBC History Revealed team has been thinking about what people in the past might have put on their Christmas list. And we’d like your help!
If you’re aged 6–13, we’d like you to pretend that you are a character from history and write a letter to Santa, sharing what you’ve been doing this year and telling him what you would like for Christmas.
You might decide to be a fed-up Henry VIII, who is tired of his current wife and wants a new one. Or perhaps you’re Emmeline Pankhurst asking Santa for help with campaigning for women’s right to vote.
How to enter
If you don’t have a printer at home, don’t worry – you can draw your own!
Choose a historical figure, and write a short letter to Santa from the perspective of that person. Imagine that they are telling him about what they’ve done over the past 12 months and telling him what they would like him to bring them for Christmas.
We love great pictures at BBC History Revealed, so we’ve also included space for you to draw a picture of your character.
And don’t forget to create a special stamp!
Example 1: Théo, aged 11
Once you’ve decided on your character and period of history, you might want to do a bit of research into what life was actually like at the time they were living, to give you a bit of inspiration.
If you’ve chosen someone famous, find out a bit about them – what they liked doing, what they were good at. You’ll find loads of relevant content on HistoryExtra – so do some digging around.
Once you’ve done some homework on your character, think about what gift they might want or need this year. If you’ve chosen a king or queen, for example, they might want something to help them win a battle, or a new item that would show off their wealth and power.
Think about what your character might have done and achieved in the past year, and whether they’ve been good enough to receive a Christmas present at all!
When you’re happy with your letter, ask a parent or guardian to take a photograph of it and email the photo to email@example.com making sure you include your name and age within the email itself. If you want some tips on how to submit the best possible photo of your letter, please read our technical tips below.
We’ll share examples on our social media channels: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If you’d like to share your creation on social media yourself, make sure you include the hashtag #letterstosanta so we can see it!
The competition is open to UK residents only, however we’d love to see letters from our international followers and feature some of them on the website.
- Where possible, write your postcard in pen, so that it’s easy to read on the final photograph
- Photos should be less than 10MB in size
- Try and make sure your postcard fills the entire photograph, so it’s nice and clear
- It is recommended that you take the photograph in landscape
Example 2: Nóla, aged 6
Prizes and closing date
The closing date for the competition is 31 October 2021. After that date, a panel of judges will choose 10 winners whose creations will be published in the Christmas issue of BBC History Revealed.
The 10 winners will also receive a £20 book token and a framed copy of their letter.
Entries will judged on the following criteria
- Creativity shown in drawing, writing and ideas
- Demonstration of any historical knowledge of the character chosen
- Presentation of submission
Don’t forget, if you’re struggling for ideas, there’s a wealth of content on HistoryExtra to give you some inspiration and get you started. (Please note that some of our articles may include references to historical violence; you can also find plenty of child-friendly history resources at BBC Bitesize)
Key characters you might like to research include:
- Elizabeth I
- Henry VIII
- Queen Victoria
- Winston Churchill
- Thomas Cromwell
- Anne Boleyn
- William Shakespeare
- Jane Austen
- Mary, Queen of Scots
- Martin Luther King
Browse more articles about key historical figures here
About the magazine
BBC History Revealed brings the past to life for everyone
It’s an action-packed, image-rich magazine with zero stuffiness, jam-packed with facts, features and historical fun.
If you’re interested in finding out more about BBC History Revealed, why not try our 3 issues for £5 offer?