Heppner gazette-times. (Heppner, Or.) 1925-current, December 15, 1938, Image 1

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    Volume 54, Number 40
P V ?, L I C A V D I T 0 R I I V.
POSTls'.D. OR" .
Heppner, Oregon, Thursday, December 15, 1938
I I There Is a Sta Claus ! 1
(Editor's Note: Following is an ed
itorial which originally appeared in
the old New York Sun in 1897 and
was an answer to a letter written by
an 8-year old girl to the Sun. It is
considered one of the classic editor
ials in American journalism and was
written by Francis P. Church, a
member of the Sun's editorial staff.)
The letter from the little girl fol
lows: "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 W. 95th St."
Following is the reply that was
printed in the New York Sun, and
although it is 41 years old it is for
ever new each year when the Christ
mas season rolls around:
"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 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 meas
ured by the intelligence capable of
grasping the whole truth and know
ledge. "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 child-like faith then, no
poetry, no romance to make toler
able this existence. We should have
no enjoyment except in sense and
sight. The eternal light with which
children fill the world would be
"Not believe in Santa Claus! You
might as well not believe in fairies!
You might get papa to hire men to
watch in all the chimneys on Christ
mas eve to catch Santa Claus, but
even if they did not see Santa com
ing down, what would they 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 neither children
nor men can see. Did you ever see
fairies dancing on the lawn? Of
course not, but that's no proof they
are not there. Nobody can conceive
or imagine all the wonders there
are unseen and unseeable in the
"You tear apart the baby's rattle
and see what makes the noise in
side, but there is a veil covering the
unseen world which not the strong
est man nor the united strength of
all the strongest men that ever lived
could tear apart. Only faith, fancy,
poetry, love, romance can brush
aside that curtain and view and pic
ture and supernal beauty and glory
beyond. It is all real! Ah, Virginia,
in all this world there is nothing
else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God he
lives, and lives forever. A thousand
years from now, Virginia, nay, 10
times 10 thousand years from now,
he will continue to make glad the
heart of childhood."
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