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Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897
By Francis P. Church

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently
the communication below, expressing at the same time
our great gratification that its faithful author is
numbered among the friends of The Sun:

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



Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical 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 external 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 have men to watch in all the chimneys
on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you 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 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
mean, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever
lived could tear apart. Only faith, 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 lives forever.
A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years
from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.



The Christmas Story / Another Christmas Story
How Rudolph came about... / A Letter to Santa from Mom
Words for Silent Night in German and English / Yes Virginia....
My StartPage / GraphGroup

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