SANTA CLAUS IS ABOUT TO HIT THE TOWN
We have entered the festive season again. For some of us it is a time of fun and enjoyment with loved ones and close friends; the exchange of gifts and presents, the jubilation through specific music and decorations. To others it is a time of serious reflection and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.
As for me, the season always awakened my fantasies since childhood; the opportunity to accord conscious generosity to others, the surprise presents, engaging in leisurely activities without the constraint of time…. and the nice goodies on offer at the table mmmm…?
I am a very avid reader of newspapers. My favorite page in the paper is the editorial. It reflects the corporate opinion of the paper on a current issue, through comment and analysis as opposed to factual reporting. As I reflected on the season, I was reminded about the most famous editorial ever written in the history of newspapers.
On 21 September 1897, the New York Sun published a letter sent by 8 year – old Virginia O’ Hanlon. The letter read as follows:
“ 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 Clause? “
The editor of the paper was Francois Pharcellus Church. His response remains the most printed editorial ever to run in a newspaper and became the subject of books, a movie and television series. It read as follows:
“ 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 universe 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 certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know they abound and give to our life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as there is no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable their existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external 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. Nobody sees Santa Claus but that is no sign that there is no Santa Clause, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? 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 that are unseen or 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 the strongest men ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fantasy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
I might not necessarily agree with all the views expressed by Francis. I am however convinced that the spirit of Christmas defies our skepticism, ignites our dreams, fans our imaginations and humbles us to the thought of just how fortunate we are to have made it through another year. There is a reality beyond the visible – a substance called faith. I trust that as you enter the Christmas season that you will find new hope in the reason for the season – our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Whatever the state in which your life might be, be reminded of this indisputable fact – “ …. and they shall call His name Immanuel, which means – God is with us.” Mathew 1:23
As we celebrate Christmas, let’s keep Christ at the center of all your endeavors. Wishing you and your family peace, joy and happiness this Christmas and trust that 2021will be an exceptional year of God’s favor in your life.
Love and appreciate you.
Martin and Elizabeth Kuscus