Our thoughts... Yes Vir­ginia, there is a Santa Claus

The Covington News - - Local news -

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 W. 95th Street

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.

— Fran­cis Phar­cel­lus Church The Sun (New York)

Sept. 21, 1897

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