Yes, Virginia

'No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever.'

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(Editor’s note: The following editorial, among the most famous ever written, appeared in The New York Sun in 1897 and remains appropriate for this holiday season 114 years later. The Augusta Chronicle happily carries on its Christmas tradition of reproducing this editorial.)

Is there a Santa Claus?

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.

115 West Ninety-Fifth Street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical 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 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 life 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 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.

Comments (9) Add comment
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Riverman1
98747
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Riverman1 12/24/11 - 08:31 am
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This century old letter is

This century old letter is getting to be a little tiresome. If a modern day Virginia asked the question it would be online where the commenters would set her straight. I love the part about "faith, fancy, poetry, love, and romance," but if she was old enough to write that letter, someone should have set her straight. I would have answered her with "LOL."

The real life Virginia ended up pregnant at a young age and the guy she was married to took off on her. She should have been told the truth. Santa Claus is a communist. She kept believing in the myth long after she should have and ended up being taken advantage of. Try pulling that Santa stuff on me and sneaking down my chimney. See what happens.

justthefacts
26929
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justthefacts 12/24/11 - 08:56 am
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Gosh river, who licked the

Gosh river, who licked the red off your candy this fine AM. (:

ctchpln
461
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ctchpln 12/24/11 - 10:06 am
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I'm sorry you're so cynical,

I'm sorry you're so cynical, Riverman. To the editor of the Chronicle, though, thank you very much for reprinting this every year. It is refreshing and we need to read such editorials to inspire hope and faith.

crkgrdn
2287
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crkgrdn 12/24/11 - 11:58 am
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Riverman, some things are

Riverman, some things are never tiresome. Some curmudgeons are always tiresome. So very very sad for you.

david jennings
625
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david jennings 12/24/11 - 03:05 pm
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I love this E page treat

I love this E page treat every year and I plan to read the Christmas story tomorrow morning. Thanks AC for a good year and a great carrier, my issue is hardly ever late. And here's wishing next year will be even better, Merry Christmas to all.

Sargebaby
4693
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Sargebaby 12/24/11 - 07:30 pm
1
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And there were in the same

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

etlinks
26224
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etlinks 12/24/11 - 08:11 pm
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Gosh I like the story. Smart

Gosh I like the story. Smart people have a hard time.Or do they? Mary Christmas.

trujustis
78
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trujustis 12/24/11 - 08:26 pm
1
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Sargebaby thanks for posting

Sargebaby thanks for posting that...

etlinks
26224
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etlinks 12/24/11 - 08:42 pm
0
0
thanks sarge!

thanks sarge!

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