One of my most favorite assignments for December is for students to write letters to Santa. The catch is that students must write their letter from the perspective of someone we have studied this year in history. The students will love it and it will teach skills and knowledge in letter writing, perspective, and character.
I also included an alternative assignment for students who do celebrate Christmas or Santa. Copy the original assignment on one side and the alternative assignment on the back. Students do not have to announce which assignment they will do. They simply pick one and turn it in.
This assignment allows students creativity to shine. You will find that students will often take on the full character of the person they choose and write in the dialect of that person. Many students will enjoy making their letters look authentic, by burning the edges of the paper or soaking the paper with tea bags.