Yes, Vir­ginia

North Penn Life - - Opinion -

Prob­a­bly the most fre­quently pub­lished ed­i­to­rial in the his­tory of news­pa­pers is the one that fol­lows. It was writ­ten for the New York Sun by Fran­cis P. Church in 1897, and no one has said it as well since.

We take plea­sure in an­swer­ing at once and 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 eight 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 W. 95th St. 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, as com­pared with the bound­less world about him, as mea­sured by the in­tel­li­gence ca­pa­ble of grasp­ing the whole 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 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 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 a baby’s rat­tle and see what makes the noise in­side, but there is a veil cov­er­ing the un­seen world which not the strong­est man, or 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. From now, Vir­ginia, nay, ten times ten thou­sand years from now, he will con­tinue to make glad the heart of child­hood.

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