We take pleasure in answering 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:
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
external 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 you 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, 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 lives forever.
A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now,
he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!