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Is There A Santa Claus?






_The following, reprinted from the editorial page of the New York Sun,
was written by the late Mr. Frank P. Church:_


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 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.

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 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.





Next: O Little Town Of Bethlehem




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