The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial. Appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps, it really is the most read editorial in history.
So grab a cup of coffee, kick back for a few minutes, and enjoy the timeless heartfelt thoughts expressed here. You most certainly will come away feeling pretty good knowing that not much has changed.
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 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."
Francis Pharcellus Church
September, 21st, 1897
-- end of 1897 editorial.
And with that, I pray you have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
May God bless you and yours!