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December 17, 2013

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

TIFTON —

My niece asked me recently if I still believed in Santa Claus. My response? Of course I do.

Now before you call the men who have those nice white  jackets that make you hug yourself, I have to clarify: Do I think there’s really a man who hangs with tiny people at the North Pole? Nah.

I don’t really remember when I decided Santa wasn’t real. But at some point, I figured out that my parents were the culprits behind the things I found under our Christmas tree each year. 

But along the way, I discovered that Santa Claus is more than just some rotund fellow in a red suit. It’s about the spirit of the holiday – and he’s the visual representation of it. 

It’s been my tradition each year at Christmas to publish a famous letter to the editor and response...So here’s Virginia’s letter...

Dear Editor: I am eight 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 W. 95th Street

The answer...

Virginia, your little friends are wrong.  They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical 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 child-like 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.

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