But I believe Editor Francis Pharcellus Church gave one of the most profound truths available to us: That the most worthy, laudable, beautiful, meaningful things in life, are those we cannot see. It is love, generosity, goodness, and, Santa.
Read below and tell me what you think.
I believe the most important things are invisible,
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.
And so Livers and Givers, we see the essentials in life. Church is not really talking about a red capped portly man with a jolly laugh. He’s talking about our love for eternal life, the beauty of believing, giving that asks for nothing in return. Those are all our most real possessions, and not viewed with the eye.
I know for me, I will cherish and hold dear this excerpt below, my favorite.
Your thoughts? I look forward to hearing!
” 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…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.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.”
– See more at: “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” | NewseumEditor, Journalist (1839–1906)
Born in New York in 1839, Francis Church spent much of his life working on newspapers and other publications. Church was the son of a reverend and the grandson of a Revolutionary War soldier. He graduated from Columbia College (now Columbia University) in 1859. During the Civil War, Church worked as a war correspondent. He also worked with his brother, William Conant Church, on The Army and Navy Journal. The pair also established a literary publication called Galaxy Magazine in 1869. Contributors to Galaxy included Mark Twain and Henry James.
Francis Pharcellus Church wrote one of the most famous newspaper editorials of all time. He penned a response to a young girl’s query about the existence of Santa Claus in 1897 that remains popular to this day. His reply to Virginia O’Hanlon’s query about Santa Claus quickly became a holiday classic.
Over the years, Church’s defense of Santa Claus has been reprinted numerous times in magazines and newspapers. It has also inspired several books, including the 2001 children’s illustrated tale Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. The story of O’Hanlon’s letter and Church’s reply have formed the narrative for a number of films, most recently the 2009 television special, Yes, Virginia.