...because we all have our motley moments!

Monday, December 14, 2009

For the Love of Santa

Alex first saw Santa after being in our country for only two weeks, and he was instantly drawn to him. We were still cocooning, and we weren't really supposed to let anyone else hold him, but Alex reached out for the kind old sole. We celebrate Santa, or more accurately stalk him each holiday season. As Alex grows, I hope to teach him that God gave us his greatest gift, Jesus, on Christmas Day. In that spirit, just as Santa gives gifts, we share our love with others by giving gifts for Christmas. I found a reprint of the infamous letter from dear little Virginia at http://www.newseum.org/yesvirginia/, and I thought you might enjoy reading it again today.

"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, 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, 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.

The answer was written by veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church, and was originally printed in the New York's Sun as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897.


Donna said...

I love the pics of Alex with Santa. The Santa at Eagle Ridge this year is quite geriatric. He looks like he may have already been around for the "ten times ten thousand years" mentioned in the letter. My kids will start worrying whether Santa will make it all the way to Christmas if we bring them to meet that particular old elf!

Rachel said...

I saw Mr. Claus at the mall yesterday, and you're right, Donna, he looks like he might fall asleep at any minute! Poor guy! (Did you notice that Snapfish has taken over the Santa booth this year? No more take your own pictures, and all of the packages are large and expensive.)

Our little guy wants nothing to do with Santa this year. He has even mentioned several times that he doesn't want Santa to bring him a present. Maybe it's the thought of someone invading the house while he's asleep...Anyway, we're not pushing the issue, and I'm sure it won't last forever once he figures out the benefits of being nice to Santa, but we shall see.

I love the Virginia letter, Pam--thanks for posting it! The pictures are really cute, too. Hope you're having a wonderful Christmas season!

Lindsay said...

Adorable pictures!

We are a rare famiy in that we don't "do" Santa. I mean he is fictional and real in that since, but he doesn't bring gifts to our house. We give gifts to each other because of Jesus' birthday.

Pam said...

Hi girls! Thanks for the comments. I hope I didn't offend you Lindsay with the letter. I have a few friends that also skip the Santa tradition. I really can't believe Alex hasn't noticed yet that the Santas from various different places look different. I hope you all enjoy your last full week before Christmas!

Lindsay said...

Didn't offend me at all. :)