On September 21, 1897, an editorial appeared in The (New York) Sun entitled, Is there a Santa Claus? The editorial was in response to a letter received from a young girl named Virginia O’Hanlon, who wrote:
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?
Her letter was written during the holiday season over a hundred years ago, yet it could easily have been written today, and there is still so much we can learn from young Virginia’s inquiry regardless of our faith, background, or how we celebrate (or don’t) the holidays. Let’s take a closer look at her letter.
“I am 8 years old.” – This is something we all do in one manner or another. We want to be known, accepted, and understood, and so we say things that help define us, like, “I’m single,” “I’m married,” “I’m widowed,” “I’m a doctor,” “I’m a mom,” “I’m a free-spirit.” Or, “I’m 8 years old.”
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.” – Ugh! Don’t we all know people like this? Whatever positive, magical things we believe in, there will always be those who try to convince us otherwise. And when it’s friends and family who are our biggest naysayers, it’s easy to be shaken by their negativity. But before we throw in the towel on our own positive beliefs, we need to take a look at the bigger picture.
Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” – Thankfully, even when we’re surrounded by negative voices, there will always be those in our lives who speak positive things too. They will encourage us to believe even though they may not believe the same, and they’ll point us in the right direction for the answers, just as Virginia’s papa did. But ultimately it’s up to us to hold on to the good things we believe, and to seek after our own truth.
Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? – Like Virginia, we should never be afraid to question our own beliefs. Sincere questions will always lead us to truth. So believe. Believe you can get that better job. Believe you can get out of debt. Believe you can regain your health. Believe broken relationships can be mended, because as The Sun concluded . . .
“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.”
Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season filled with peace and joy!
Your friends at Krause Funeral Home
[The entirety of The (New York) Sun editorial can be found at: http://www.nysun.com/editorials/yes-virginia/68502/]