Sunday, December 04, 2011

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

"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, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] 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.

Original Source: The Sun; September 21, 1897
Response by Newsman Francis Pharcellus Church
Found at Newseum


  1. Thank you for this. We are not very big on Christmas here as it has become so commercialized (and we are not very religious), but Emma, who started out not believing in Santa, has recently decided she did believe in Santa. We were not sure how to handle this, but really, what harm is there in letting her believe?

  2. I had a rather disturbing encounter with a woman in a toy store the other day (in fact, I'll probably blog about it soon)...she was astounded to think my child could possibly still believe at the age of seven.

    It was all I could do to keep from kicking her. :)

  3. What a lovely post, Stephanie. I have read this before,of course, but maybe not since becoming a Momma.

    My kids don't believe in Him per say ~ but they do believe in him like this, if you know what I mean. His magic, his generosity, his spirit.

    I love it!

  4. So glad to have run across this:) My girls are 9 and 12, and they will never hear me say that Santa Claus isn't real!! Thanks for sharing!

  5. wow! I LOVED this when I read it and today I clicked on a Christmas special on Netflix and began to watch it with my 3yr old. It said it was a true story and so I clicked it. The little girls name was Virginia and her father worked for the SUN. I started putting two and two together and sure enough it was the exact same article that Virginia received from the SUN confirming that santa was real!! It is called Yes, Virginia and it was amazing.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!