Dixie Darr

My Literary Advent Calendar, Day Sixteen

In Uncategorized on December 12, 2016 at 3:06 pm


Monday, December 12, 2016

Yes, Virginia

In 1897 an eight year old girl wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Sun asking if there was a Santa Claus. The response became history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.

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.”

Yes, Santa embodies some of the magic of Christmas, but there comes a time in every child’s life when Santa is exposed. One Mom described a way to turn the child him or herself into Santa.

The writer takes the little one out for “coffee” and tells them, “You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too.” After pointing out two or three examples of the child’s recent good deeds, the “truth” is revealed:

Your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus. You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren’t ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE.”

Mom then gives the child a task—to choose someone and secretly find out something that person needs, provide it, wrap and deliver it and never reveal where it came from. Being a Santa isn’t about getting credit, you see. It’s unselfish giving.”

What a wonderful way to keep Santa alive.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa. You.


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