Couple reunite family with 1956 letter to Santa found during renovation

SHAMOKIN, Pa. -- The holiday spirit can show up in unexpected places. For a Pennsylvania couple, it came in the form of a decades-old letter to Santa they discovered above their tattoo parlor.

Michael Nahodil told WNEP they might never have found it if their landlord hadn't given them an ultimatum.

“We could either buy or have a new landlord and I don’t want to get kicked out, so we kind of made the move," he said.

The couple decided to buy the whole building, including their business, Dapper Tattoo, and the apartments above.

The plan was to move in upstairs, but the pair had to gut renovate the units before they could think about that.

“We came up here and it was absolutely awful. Everything in everyone room needed to be replaced,” Alyssa Backes said.

Nahodil and Backes were tackling the kitchen, ripping out cabinets when they came across an envelope.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the outside was hard to ignore, but it’s the letter inside that really grabbed their attention.

“Dear Santa, How are you? I’ve been a good girl," the letter read.

Dated Dec. 2, 1956, this misplaced letter to Old St. Nick had been tucked away between kitchen cabinets for about 60 years, long enough that the couple thought it was about time to reunite it with its owner.

“Everyone hopes they find money in the wall but I think this was a little more special,” Michael said. “We tried to find them right away on Facebook but had no luck.”

Then, on Dec. 2, 61 years to the day the letter was written, the son of the then-little girl came across the Facebook post.

“I couldn’t really believe it at first, so I zoomed in on it and I saw it said Susan Kleis and I knew for sure,” John Krieger said.

Krieger said it was his mother’s Christmas wishes. The list had a few things on it, including a learner’s bike, a merry-go-round, a doll house, a set of horses and a Robbie the Rabbit.

His mom is now in her 60s and lives in Massachusetts. The letter might belong to Krieger's mother but it was written by his grandmother, who has died.

“I mean, they got a lot going on here. They could have just swept it up (and) not ever looked at it,” Krieger said.

“I figure we can give a part of her mom back for Christmas,” Backes said.

Krieger said his mother is still hoping to get that horse one day.