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?
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.
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.
[Source: Written by Francis P. Church, Editor of the NY Sun in 1897 and is supposedly the most reprinted newspaper editorial ever. Image source: Wikipedia]
Take it to the Next Level
Yes Virginia there is a God
Millions of little people around the world believe in Santa. Of course, most are children, but it speaks much of childlike faith. They may be too young to understand the implications of a real life Santa that knows whether what every child in the world wants for Christmas and whether they are deserving or not to receive it, and can deliver all those gifts in a single night. (see Is There a Santa Claus)
As children grow up, they often outgrow Santa. A rational person could not truly believe in such a man and what he supposedly is able to do. Unfortunately, the same is often true of the belief in God. While a literal St. Nick did exist, the claims of who he is and what he does have been exaggerated over the years. Could the same be true of God? On what basis do we base our belief in God?
Perhaps the editorial holds an answer to that question. You find it not in the Sun, but in the SON – the Son of God. Christmas is the celebration of His birth. And it is not because it is written in a newspaper, but because it is written in the Word of God that we trust that it is true. And, as the editorial states, “The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see.” Some things must be taken in Childlike faith.
Scripture references from the Bible
“Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'” – John 20:29
“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him'” – 1 Corinthians 2:9
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-17
‘Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.'” – John 18:37
‘He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.’ – Matthew 18:2-3
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