Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus . . .

From "Seasons of Grace" blog by Kathy Schiffer .....

In 1897 an eight-year-old girl by the name of Virginia O’Hanlon asked her father whether Santa Claus really existed.  Her father—Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant from Manhattan’s Upper West Side—encouraged her to write toThe Sun to ask the question.  “If you see it in The Sun,” he said, “it’s so.”
Francis Church answered Virginia’s letter—and he reached beyond the question to consider the deeper philosophical issue.  His response, titled“Yes,Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” has touched hearts ever since.
In 1998,Virginia’s original letter was appraised on Antiques Roadshow at $20,000 to $30,000.
“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, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] 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.


  1. What an inspiring article!!

  2. My kids were raised believing in Santa. When oldest was around 6, he had doubts, until I showed him Santa on the Radar during the news...he ran right into his bedroom....that worked for that one, final year. My daughter, well, I think she believed until she was around 10 or so...She apparently had a dream once time when she was young of looking out her bedroom window and seeing Santa and the Reindeer....which locked her into believing for many years to come. Anyway, enjoy your Christmas, looking forward to meeting up with you again, hopefully early next year. --Dave (Marcia and Bubba and Skruffy)

    1. Thsnks, Dave. And a very happy holiday season to you - all!

  3. Merry Christmas Mary-Pat from Betty ad Joe!!

    1. And the same to you both. Enjoy all the special food, cookies, drinks . . .

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Wayne. Merry Christmas! And, Happy New Year, too.

  5. "....He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist..." Yes, that's the truth and we should all try and remember that EVERY day, right?

    Thanks MP, great story. Merry Christmas, friend!

    1. Amen, all of us - Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddists, Atheists and Agnostics . . . Merry Christmas, in the larger sense of the words, to all. And for Nancy and Doug special "thanks" for being my friends.

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