Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Best Editorial Ever
NOBLENet ^ | 01/24/2002 | Boston Library

Posted on 12/24/2004 11:07:29 PM PST by Old Sarge

IS THERE A SANTA CLAUS?

We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of "The Sun":

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 95th Street

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 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 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.

F.P. Church

New York Sun, September 21, 1897


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: christmas; francispchurch; santaclaus; yesvirginia
I felt that no Christmas is quite complete, without this most famous of editorials.

I most proudly agree - there IS a Santa.

Merry Christmas, My FRiends!

1 posted on 12/24/2004 11:07:29 PM PST by Old Sarge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Bump, OS! Merry Christmas!


2 posted on 12/24/2004 11:08:36 PM PST by Howlin (Annoy a liberal; tell everybody you see Merry Christmas!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; StarCMC; Kathy in Alaska; bentfeather; tomkow6; HiJinx; Fawnn; ...

Merry Christmas, my FRiends!


3 posted on 12/24/2004 11:08:46 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Thanks for posting..I love this!


4 posted on 12/24/2004 11:14:05 PM PST by MEG33 (MERRY CHRISTMAS!.....GOD BLESS OUR ARMED FORCES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

BTTT!


5 posted on 12/24/2004 11:14:59 PM PST by MoJo2001 (Operation Valentine's Day ---Begins January 1st - January 21st..www.proudpatriots.org)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Lovely, Sarge..
Thank you..God Bless!
Ms.B


6 posted on 12/24/2004 11:15:47 PM PST by MS.BEHAVIN (If it is not right, do not do it; if it is not true, do not say it. Marcus Aurelius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge


Merry Christmas Sarge!!

7 posted on 12/24/2004 11:16:42 PM PST by trussell (I Never Frown, even when I am sad,because I never know who is falling in love with my Smile!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge
Yes there is a Santa Claus. Norad is tracking him now live :)

http://www.noradsanta.org/english/radar/index.html

And BTW, here is a historic review of where Santa came from. The point of Santa is NOT off topic of the True Meaning of CHRISTmas. It is only drowned out from Advertisers and Marketing.

"Historic Review of Santa Claus"

8 posted on 12/24/2004 11:18:35 PM PST by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Merry Christmas, Old Sarge!


9 posted on 12/24/2004 11:28:37 PM PST by uncleshag (If only every day was Christmas!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful leter...Merry Christmas, Old Sarge and Freepers!


10 posted on 12/25/2004 12:01:17 AM PST by lainde
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Thank you for posting this, Sarge.

I agree......this editorial helps complete Christmas.
I don't think any of us tire of reading it.
Merry Christmas!!
*HUGZ*


11 posted on 12/25/2004 12:13:21 AM PST by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Perfect Sarge-brings back so many memories-while there are many who continue to not believe in Santa we here on Free Republic know he exists beyond any doubt-especially after this year.

Merry Christmas to all my brothers and sisters.


12 posted on 12/25/2004 12:25:30 AM PST by Larry381
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Merry Christmas, Old Sarge! Have a Wonderful and Blessed Day!


13 posted on 12/25/2004 12:44:15 AM PST by Kitty Mittens
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kitty Mittens

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas evceryone.


14 posted on 12/25/2004 12:54:56 AM PST by lwoodham
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

BTT!!!!!!


15 posted on 12/25/2004 3:40:45 AM PST by E.G.C.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Lovely, as always! Bumpity, bump!


16 posted on 12/25/2004 4:59:56 AM PST by hershey
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge
Bah! Humbug!!

THE FALSE GOD OF CHRISTMAS

Parents, often without even realizing it, have been teaching their children the following things about Santa Claus:

SANTA IS OMNISCIENT

He knows how children behave throughout the year. The familiar song says, "He knows if we've been good or bad." Also he knows exactly what children want for Christmas even if the child does not have an opportunity to tell him personally.

SANTA IS OMNIPOTENT

No storm is too great to hinder Santa from performing his annual miracle of delivering gifts throughout the world. He also defies the laws of nature by flying and by coming down the narrowest (and hottest!) of chimneys! Nor should we forget his amazing ability to produce millions of gifts throughout the year. Is anything too hard for Santa? With Santa all things are possible!

SANTA IS OMNIPRESENT

To visit every home in the world in one evening requires nothing less than omnipresence! Every child in the world can wake up in the morning and say, "Santa has been here! Santa was present in my home!" Prior to Christmas Santa also appears at hundreds of street corners and shopping centers throughout the country at the same time!

SANTA IS FAITHFUL

You can always count on Santa! Santa never fails and he never breaks his word. When Santa makes a promise he keeps it! When he promises a child a gift, that child will never be disappointed. Children are fully persuaded that what Santa has promised he is able also to perform. The child that believes in Santa will not be put to shame! Santa is totally dependable and trustworthy!

SANTA IS ETERNAL

Santa with his white beard and weather-beaten face is the very essence of eternity. Year after year goes by and Santa grows no older. Generations have come and gone but Santa is still here. His life is endless and Santa cannot die. To Santa belongs an unending life.

SANTA IS IMMUTABLE

Yesterday, today, forever Santa is the same! He never seems to change. He is always happy! He is always jolly. He is always kind to children. In a changing world you can always count on Santa being Santa!

SANTA IS LOVE

Santa loves all the boys and girls in the world. Santa is no respecter of persons. He loves them all--red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.

SANTA IS RIGHTEOUS

All that Santa does is right! He makes no mistakes. He does all things well. Every child's stocking contains exactly the right thing.

SANTA IS GOOD

Santa showers his blessings upon all. Every good and perfect gift comes from Santa. He is the supreme GIVER of Christmas. It is Santa who brings the best gift of all!

SANTA IS SOVEREIGN

On Christmas Eve Santa is in complete control of the situation. Circumstances do not phase him (such as storms, sizes of chimneys, red-hot fire places, etc.). He is the King of Christmas!

SANTA IS COMING

Santa is coming to town. You better be ready! You better watch out! You better be good! He's coming! Are you prepared when Santa comes to reward every boy or girl according to his work? Millions of boys and girls each year wait with eager expectancy for the glorious appearing of the great Santa god. What a blessed hope for countless numbers of children! His reward is with him! What a comforting hope the boys and girls have as they prepare for his coming! And during the night he may come at any time. Even so, come, Santa Claus!

SANTA IS WORSHIPPED

Santa is worshipped and loved by thousands of children the world around. Children love him so much that all through the year they seek to please him in such a way that when they see him they will not be ashamed. O come let us adore HIM!

[Parents, is this the god you want your children to know and love? Is it important to tell our children the truth even when they are very young? What have you taught your children about the TRUE GOD, and His beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ? Have you taught them who the Great GIVER of Christmas is (John 3:16)? Do they know about the gift of God which is eternal life (Rom. 6:23)?]


The Middletown Bible Church
349 East Street
Middletown, CT 06457
(860) 346-0907
More articles under Christian Home and Family


17 posted on 12/25/2004 6:11:32 AM PST by RaceBannon (Jesus: Born of the Jews, through the Jews, for the sins of the World!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon

Oh, please.

My pastor said last week that in 35 years of ministry, and many hundreds of counseling sessions, he has yet to see one person traumatized by Santa Claus. Nor has he seen one person lose his/her faith because of him.

Both my wife and I believed in Santa as young children, and we are radical born-again Christians who love Jesus Christ with every fiber of our being. And we are but two of many thousands.

The enemies of Christ are manifest and legion. Santa ain't one of them.

Merry Christmas, Race!


18 posted on 12/25/2004 6:31:57 AM PST by Skooz (The "holiday" has a name.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Skooz

I think you missed the point of the whole thing....


19 posted on 12/25/2004 6:55:19 AM PST by RaceBannon (Jesus: Born of the Jews, through the Jews, for the sins of the World!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon

The point of the whole thing is that the Santa legend is innocuous and not inconsistent with the Christian faith.

Nevertheless, I am thankful we live in the USA where we can disagree on such things (and not be shot or put through shredders).

A very Merry Christmas to you and yours.


20 posted on 12/25/2004 7:04:56 AM PST by Skooz (The "holiday" has a name.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Francis Pharcellus Church

While an editor at The New York Sun newspaper, Francis Church was handed a letter on September 20, 1897, and asked to write a response for the next day's edition.  His editorial reply has become legendary. 

Francis Church's father, Pharcellus, was a Baptist minister and journalist who founded The New York Chronicle.

Francis was a war correspondent for The New York Times during the Civil War.  After the war, he and his brother established The Army and Navy Journal and Galaxy Magazine.  When Galaxy merged with Atlantic Monthly, Francis became an editorial writer for The New York Sun.

It wasn't until after his death in 1906 that it became publicly known that Francis Church had written the editorial reply to Virginia O'Hanlon's 1897 letter.

Virginia O'Hanlon

Eight year old Virginia O'Hanlon lived on the Upper West Side of New York City and firmly believed in Santa Claus.  However, some of her less fortunate young friends said there wasn't any Santa Claus and began to put doubt in her mind.

Virginia asked her father, Philip, a doctor who worked for the New York Police Department, if Santa Claus was real.

In the past, the O'Hanlon family had written to the "Question and Answer" column in The Sun to settle matters of fact.  Philip recommended his daughter write to their favorite newspaper seeking an answer to one of the most famous questions of all time.

Having her faith restored, Virginia went on to graduate from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1910 and received her Master's degrees from Columbia in 1911.  In 1912, she began a 47-year career as a teacher in New York City and later became a principal.  Virginia died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81.

21 posted on 12/25/2004 7:10:35 AM PST by HighWheeler ("The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men." Plato)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Skooz

Actually, it is not so innocuous.

Jesus is the reason for the Season, not Santa.

We should be teaching people and our kids especially, that the reason for the season, and our giving, is because God gave us an unspeakable gift through His Son.

Waiting for Santa to judge us lessens our trust in God judging us.

Kids need to learn to behave because God wants them to, not because of some mythical figure with the powers of a god.

If you saw my 24 year old drunken drug addicted spike faced dreadlocked nephew defend his (past) wearing of an Ozzy t-shirt covered with Ozzy flipping the bird as free speech when his high school ordered him to take it off the other night, you would understand completely.

I am still not over it.


22 posted on 12/25/2004 7:13:26 AM PST by RaceBannon (Jesus: Born of the Jews, through the Jews, for the sins of the World!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon

Courageous post, Race. Some of us get the message. Thank you so much.


23 posted on 12/25/2004 7:17:16 AM PST by who knows what evil? (If arrogance was beauty, New England women would be supermodels!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon
I agree. If it were up to us to convince other souls about the truth of the gospel, Santa is problematic. Fortunately, our responsibility is to proclaim the gospel and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
25 Jesus answered them, "I have told you, yet you will not believe. The works that I do in My Father's name bear witness for Me. 26 But, as for you, you do not believe because you are not My sheep, as I have told you. 27 My sheep listen to My voice and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them everlasting life. They shall never, never die, nor shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father who gave them to Me is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are One!"
Do you live in Middletown ? I'm in E. Hampton.
24 posted on 12/25/2004 7:24:11 AM PST by Raycpa (Alias, VRWC_minion,)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge
A different perspective:

To Tell the Truth, Virginia...

Merry Christmas!

Dan

25 posted on 12/25/2004 7:26:28 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon

26 posted on 12/25/2004 7:35:10 AM PST by Zacs Mom ("In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon
Actually, it is not so innocuous.

Well, I disagree.

Jesus is the reason for the Season, not Santa.

Absolutely. But, the Christmas tree is not the reason for the season. Niether is eggnog, presents, tinsel, or turkey, and most of us partake of those heartily with no inconsistency with the true Christmas message--that God sent His only Son to earth to live and die to save us from our sins so that we may be righteous in God's sight.

We should be teaching people and our kids especially, that the reason for the season, and our giving, is because God gave us an unspeakable gift through His Son.

We Christians do. My daughter, now 13, grew up with Santa (I even put on the outfit once and was Santa one year), but she has always been taught that we give gifts as a reminder of God's most precious Gift, His Son. She is now a leader among her youth in church and is developing into a mighty young woman of God. It's amazing to see how much she loves Jesus and how the youth pastors look to her as a leader for those in her age group. She even has a prayer minstry in the youth group.

Waiting for Santa to judge us lessens our trust in God judging us.

I respectfully disagree. But, I stopped believeing in Santa at age 7.

Kids need to learn to behave because God wants them to, not because of some mythical figure with the powers of a god.

Without question. But, they also need to learn to behave because we, as parents, want them too. That does not place us in God's place of judgement any more than Santa's "naughty or nice" list does.

If you saw my 24 year old drunken drug addicted spike faced dreadlocked nephew defend his (past) wearing of an Ozzy t-shirt covered with Ozzy flipping the bird as free speech when his high school ordered him to take it off the other night, you would understand completely.

I was once a 24 year old drunken drug addicted spike faced long-haired drug pushing dopehead whose only purpose in life was to get wasted and buy more dope. A year later, Jesus Christ set me free and radically changed my life. I pray God will do the same for your nephew. Con Dios, todo es possible.

I admire your stand for righteousness, Race. And I also admire your excellent taste in cartoons (Quest was, by far, my favorite). Have a blessed and very Merry Christmas!

27 posted on 12/25/2004 7:35:18 AM PST by Skooz (The "holiday" has a name.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

There has not been another to explain it as well. Oh for the days when journalism was an art, practiced by fine wordsmiths.


28 posted on 12/25/2004 8:26:51 AM PST by McGavin999 (Senate is trying to cover their A$$es with Rumsfeld hide)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

thank you


29 posted on 12/25/2004 8:28:50 AM PST by bigsigh
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Santa Claus ~ Bump!


30 posted on 12/25/2004 10:15:54 AM PST by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: HighWheeler

Thanks Highwheeler! I didn't know "the rest of the story". Amazing how that works.


31 posted on 12/25/2004 10:56:50 AM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Skooz

Yesterday and today, I was reminded that Santa is quite real - in the form of his FReeper helpers who made Christmas a bit merrier for my stranded family.

There's a gulf of difference between righteous, and self-righteous. Please, for your own sake, dont' do it. It's too easy.


32 posted on 12/25/2004 11:02:28 AM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

1897.....freedom of Journalism in a Free (None PC ACLU) Press,....Thanks!


33 posted on 12/25/2004 11:05:24 AM PST by maestro
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge
Merry Christmas from those wacky Californians.

May God bless each of you throughout the year.

Oh, it's a black oak. We add ornaments to a live tree each year. This year we added pigs rooting for acorns (we just got wild hogs on the land) and appropriate leaves, along with our promise to care for it (you'll note the climber with his saw and the acorns).

We'll plant it tomorrow.

34 posted on 12/25/2004 11:53:27 AM PST by Carry_Okie (There are people in power who are truly evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie

Wow, what three pretty sisters! Nice bunch of people!

And the best of the day backacha!


35 posted on 12/25/2004 1:30:08 PM PST by Old Sarge (In for a penny, in for a pound, saddlin' up and Baghdad-bound!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: RaceBannon
Bah Humbug, indeed!

Of all the things in this wicked world to concern yourself with!

Yes, the legend, in a gentle and loving way, exposes our children to the concepts of everything you have cited ....OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPOTENCE, OMNIPRESENCE, FAITHFULNESS, ETERNITY, and all the rest!

I would no more have deprived my 6 children, 7 stepchildren and 17 grandchildren of the Santa myth than I would have exposed them, in their very early years, to the finest movie of my lifetime, Gibson's "Passion of the Christ".

With all my heart, I wish you a joyful, faith filled, merry Christmas.

36 posted on 12/25/2004 5:59:34 PM PST by iconoclast (Conservative, not partisan.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Old Sarge

Our local paper printed that in it's issue just before Christmas.


37 posted on 12/25/2004 8:19:06 PM PST by SuziQ (It's the most wonderful time of the year!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson