“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”


Make text smaller Make text larger



Photos



  • Santa as envisioned by Thomas Nast.




  • Santa Clausas envisioned by Thomas Nast.




  • Virginia O’Hanlon




  • Francis Pharcellus Church




Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

The letter:

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 West Ninety-Fifth Street

The editorial:

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical 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 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.






Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments

Pool Rules



MUST READ NEWS

Girls Run the World
More than 900 people turned out for Girls World Expo Sunday October 20th at the Palacio Catering Center in Goshen. Activities for girls 11-18 included archery and self-defense...
Read more »
Image

Keep your pets safe this Halloween
Veterinarians are warning pet owners about the potential dangers looming during Halloween season.
The most common health hazard is the ingestion of candy. Candy containing...

Read more »
Image

Robert M. Sauschuck of Matamoras, Pa., dies at age 83
Robert M. Sauschuck of Matamoras, Pa., passed away Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, at Orange Regional Medical Center in Wallkill, N.Y. He was 83.
He was born Aug. 28, 1935, in Port...

Read more »

Michael L. Dunn of Chester, N.Y., dies at age 61
Michael L. Dunn of Chester, N.Y., passed away Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, at Orange Regional Medical Center, Wallkill, N.Y. He was 61.
Son of the late Daisy Alice Thompson Dunn,...

Read more »
Image

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers



MOST COMMENTED



Find more about Weather in Chester, NY