Believing in the magic of Santa Claus is good for children

0 5,592

The New York Sun published a letter on Sept. 21, 1897, written by a curious little girl who was 8-years old. The letter read:

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 O’Hanlon 115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

An editor, believed to be Francis P. Church, responded by writing the following:

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 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.

Similarly, when a child asked his mom whether mom and dad were really Santa, she responded:

The answer is no. We are not Santa. There is no one, single Santa.

We are the people who fill your stocking and choose and wrap the presents under the tree-just as our parents did for us, their parents did for them, and you will do for your kids someday.

This could never make any of us Santa though. Santa is lots and lots of people who keep the spirit of Christmas alive. He lives in our hearts-not at the North Pole. Santa is the magic and love and spirit of giving to others. What he does is teach children to believe in something they can’t see or touch. Throughout your life, you will need this capacity to believe: in yourself, in your family, in your friends, and in God. You’ll need to be able to believe in things you can’t measure or hold in your hands.

Now you know the secret of how he gets down all of those chimneys on Christmas Eve: He has help from all of the people whose hearts he has filled with joy.

Will full hearts, people like Mommy and Daddy take our turns helping Santa do a job that would otherwise be impossible? So no, we are not Santa. Santa is love and magic and hope and happiness. We are on his team, and now you are too.

We love you, and always will.

Love,

Mom and Dad

Santa Claus—otherwise known as Saint Nicholas or Kris Kringle—has a long history steeped in Christmas traditions. Today, he is thought of mainly as the jolly man in red who brings toys to good girls and boys on Christmas Eve, but his story stretches all the way back to the 3rd century, when Saint Nicholas walked the earth and became the patron saint of children. Find out more about the history of Santa Claus from his earliest origins to the shopping mall Santas of today, and discover how two New Yorkers—Clement Clark Moore and Thomas Nast—were major influences on the Santa Claus millions of children wait for each Christmas Eve.

Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married. By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. Source:  HISTORY.COM

We believe in the magic of Santa and all the joy that travels with it. It is a healthy thing, and children need positive flowing thoughts. The images of children anticipating the coming of Santa, the delivery of presents, and gaieties with family far surpass factual explanations.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.