“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.
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.
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.”
We’ve all heard it—perhaps hundreds of times––perhaps even ten times 10 hundred times, but for me these words embody the heart of Christmas. Whether you believe that a baby actually lay in a manger or not, the Christmas season has the potential to intensify our awareness of love, generosity, and devotion as well as a time of poetry, romance and sense of wonder.
Wishing you and your life-partner all these wonderful experiences this season.
May the joy and peace of Christmas be yours throughout the year.
A special thanks to Francis Pharcellus Church, the 1897 Editor of the New York Sun for sharing this remarkable response to a young girl named Virginia.