In a recent blog titled Why We Should Believe I wrote about the importance of believing in magical happenings, particularly the existence of Santa and fairies, but not necessarily at the same time! Recently I read a newspaper article that reprinted that famous letter written to Virginia, by the editor of Baltimore Sun newspaper in 1897. Virginia was an eight year old girl who wrote to the paper wanting to know Is There A Santa Claus?
With Christmas Eve fast approaching, I know many children are anxiously awaiting a visit from Santa. So I thought it a perfect time to write the editor's response to her question. This is part of the letter written by Francis Pharcellus Church to Virginia O' Hanlon.
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 was 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 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 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 Virgina, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
So readers... to me this editorial response is a fine example of editorial journalism and supports my belief in Santa and fairies.
Merry Christmas to all of you!