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 "Is there a Santa Claus?"

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Rob
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PostSubject: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Wed Dec 23, 2009 4:41 pm

In 1897, a little girl named Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York Sun, asking if there was really a Santa Claus. The reply, by Francis P. Church, has become one of history's most famous editorials...

Dear Editor:

I am eight years old.
Some of my 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 St.


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, 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 all the chimneys on Christmas Eve, but even if they did not see Santa Claus, what would that prove?

Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign 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 a baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, or 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 supernatural 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.


Last edited by Rob on Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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pamh36
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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Wed Dec 23, 2009 6:14 pm

I love that answer! Thanks for sharing, Rob.


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Kristina
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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Wed Dec 23, 2009 8:19 pm

This letter was made into a holiday cartoon that was on tv a couple weeks ago. It's a great story!
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Coach Jon
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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:12 pm

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

For long years I wondered what this phrase was referring to: why an editor wanted the state of Virginia to know there was a Santa Claus. I finally get it.



"Only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain."
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Amy
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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:16 am

That is remarkable!! I absolutely love this! loveheart Thanks for sharing it Rob! Thumbsup


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bethandmanly
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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:22 am

I've always loved this. Thanks for sharing Rob.


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Rob
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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:22 pm

Some interesting footnotes:

Virginia O'Hanlon died in a nursing home in New York in 1971, at the age of 82.

In 1997, her great-granddaughter turned up on the PBS show Antiques Roadshow with Virginia's original letter. It was appraised at $20-30,000.

Appraisal of "Yes, Virginia" letter
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Carol
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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:00 pm

Rob wrote:

In 1997, her great-granddaughter turned up on the PBS show Antiques Roadshow with Virginia's original letter. It was appraised at $20-30,000.

Appraisal of "Yes, Virginia" letter

Wow... thud Why didn't I think of writing a letter like that when I was little? lol


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PostSubject: Re: "Is there a Santa Claus?"   Today at 12:39 pm

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