Adventures in Dressmaking: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause...

Happy Christmas Eve, and hope you all have a wonderful holiday. We're splitting time between my parents and my husband's parents today and tomorrow, and are very grateful to have so many loving family and friends around this time of year. Sharing love and cheer and spreading the holiday warmth is my favorite part about this season! Time to forget about the stresses of finding the perfect gifts (I've been to waaaay too many stores this month...) and just enjoy some time off with people we love!!

I wanted to share something that always makes me feel very sentimental and full of holiday spirit, I guess, this time of year. I'm sure most of you know about the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause..." letter, but my husband didn't recognize it when I mentioned it earlier this season, so I figured I should spread it around just in case. ;) Do you know what I'm talking about??

I don't know why, but reading the editor's response to little Virginia almost makes me cry! So funny, since it's not particularly sad, but I guess I'm just touched by the candid but still spiritual/fanciful/emotional response, from so many years ago. I found a full version online and shared below--alongside a favorite photo from a Christmas card I received from a friend in college.

Here's the famous letter and editor's response, printed in The Sun and shared from Newseum...

Source: Marcel Schurman Collection card, 2004
Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps. 

 "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 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! 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 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 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.

--Newseum

Happy holidays!

6 comments:

Leaving a comment is easy, and I love to read them! No annoying word verification required. =)

  1. I absolutely love that you posted this letter! Thank you!!! :)

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  2. Every year at christmas, we have this letter in nearly every newspaper in Germany. I love this letter!

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  3. I love the letter! Thanks for sharing. Happy holidays

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  4. I just recently followed your blog and your projects are so inspiring! Now I'm determined to learn how to sew this coming year.

    Merry Christmas and thanks for sharing the story!


    Amateur Cartoons - http://kartunistawannabe.blogspot.com

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  5. Wishing You A Very Merry Christmas!!
    Thank-You For All Of The Wonderful Inspiration
    You Bring To Us Through Your Blog!
    Appreciate You!
    Take Care!

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  6. Aaw, thanks so much, everyone! Love the happy holiday wishes!

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