Yes, Virginia

Santa Claus exists 'as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist'

  • Follow Editorials

(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 116 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 (4)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
myfather15
42140
Points
myfather15 12/24/13 - 08:40 am
6
0

You can't see the wind

You can't see the wind either, but I promise you; if you step outside today, you WILL feel it!!

Merry CHRISTmas Everyone!!

Bodhisattva
4942
Points
Bodhisattva 12/24/13 - 09:03 am
6
0

Yes Santa, there is a

Yes Santa, there is a Virgina, and a West Virginia too. Merry Christmas folks.

t3bledsoe
13237
Points
t3bledsoe 12/24/13 - 10:34 am
3
1

Thanks to ACES

Just want to say, "Thank-you to ACES for printing this "age-old", always a Christmas favorite editorial!!" Not many times that I agree with ACES, but today I say, "GOOD JOB!!"

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to ALL!!!!

CabisKhan
137
Points
CabisKhan 12/24/13 - 12:01 pm
5
0

Although I had never read

Although I had never read this essay I have come across the title frequently. Finally I have read it and have been well rewarded. We are so blessed. Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!

Back to Top

Loading...