TIME photography

Christmas Wishes: Photos of Kids on the Phone With Santa, 1947

Ridiculously cute kids dial a phone number set up by FAO Schwarz and speak directly to 'Santa,' laying out their wishes for the holiday.

This little girl is talking to Santa Claus, and so may any other girl or boy who telephones Murray Hill 8-2205 in New York between now and Christmas.

Thus reads a photo caption in a 1947 LIFE magazine story about some holiday subterfuge devised by the famed New York toy store, FAO Schwarz. The clever gambit involved an FAO-produced phone system on which children could dial that number (MU8-2205) and speak directly to Santa himself, laying out their wishes for the holiday: world peace, universal human fellowship, a train set, a bunny. You know, the usual.

Here, LIFE.com presents photos from that article — as well as some other “Awww”-inspiring pictures that never ran in the magazine.

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