By: Amy Lutz
In 1897, a young girl named Virginia wrote a letter to The New York Sun, asking if Santa Claus did in fact exist. Newsman Francis Pharcellus Church responded with a now-famous editorial entitled “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.” Virginia worried, since she had neither seen Santa Claus nor did she possess tangible proof of his existence, that the jolly man was not real. Francis Church reminded Virginia, and all of us, that seeing is not believing. We must first have faith and believe in the existence of Santa Claus’ spirit of generosity and love before we witness it in action. One hundred and fourteen years after the letter was printed, many of us find ourselves empathizing with little Virginia. How can things like love and generosity exist when the world seems so dark?Millions of people find themselves out of work, trying to make ends meet. Political bickering halts any hope at forward progress. Even talk of Christmas has been largely eradicated from public discourse. How could a figure as loving and generous as Santa Claus exist in such a seemingly hopeless world? Perhaps, like Virginia, we all need to be reminded once again of his existence.
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