December 14, 2013

IMG_0062.2.web

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. – Francis P. Church

 

FOCUS:  Holiday

I spent most of the day Christmas shopping, and I must say that my spirit was only half into it.  The tragic events of yesterday had taken their toll on my Christmas spirit, and I was wandering around the mall feeling a bit disconnected from the joy of the season.  After about an hour or so, I stopped to rest and have a cup of coffee.  The seat I chose was directly across from the ‘Meet Santa’ display set up in the middle of the mall.  Santa had just come back from ‘feeding the reindeer’, and the very first child that sat on his lap was this beautiful little baby girl.  She was all dressed up in her Christmas dress and was full of giggles and smiles as she sat in Santa’s lap.  Realizing the magic that was unfolding before my eyes, I quickly grabbed my iPhone and was able to capture this tender moment that occurred between the two of them.  This simple look between Santa and the baby girl says so much about the innocence, love and wonder of the Christmas season.  In an instant, my faith was renewed that there really is so much good in this world.  Horrible, tragic things do happen, and we may never know why.  But nothing – truly nothing – can destroy the inherent good that lies deep within us all.

Thank you, Santa, for reminding me of that today…

 

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Francis P. Church’s editorial, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”  first appeared in the The New York Sun in 1897, more than a hundred years ago, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.  It was an immediate sensation and has gone on to become one of the most famous editorials ever written.

DEAR EDITOR:

I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

VIRGINIA O’HANLON.
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.

**************


VIRGINIA,

Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s