Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Yes, Ginnie, there is a Santa Claus …

OK, so I changed the line and, although Santa seems a little peeved about it, I have good reason. Ginnie is a nickname for Virginia but I use it only on serious stuff like income tax statements and medical papers and that seemed a little glum for this entry.

The picture is of my favorite Santa who may well have been around in 1897 when 8 year old Virginia O’Hanlon sent this letter to the New York “Sun”:

Editor Frank Church answered her letter and it has become the most reprinted
newspaper editorial of all time. The second paragraph is the one that is repeated most often but I love the opening too. Here is a synopsis:

“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. …

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! … 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.”

Editorial page, The New York SUN, Sept. 21, 1897
Written by: Francis P. Church



Blogger Syd said...

Merry Christmas, Ginnie. I still believe in all that Santa stands for. Bring me a loving heart, hope and joy. Wishing you the same.

6:59 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Merry Christmas, Ginnie. And a healthy and happy 2014.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Belated Christmas greetings, Ginnie. And, if you believe (as you always should) indeed this IS a Santa Claus. Wishing you a very wonderful New Year, early rather than late :-)

8:23 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

What a great letter by Church!

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I always loved this letter. When he was Editor Ben Bradlee posted it on the editorial page of the Washington Post, which is read here in Virginia. Nice to remember isn't it?

7:58 AM  

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