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Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

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:

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

 

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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 hire 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 man, 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.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

From The People's Almanac

 

 

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