Thursday, 24 December 2015
Christmas Eve . . .
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?
115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.
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 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 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.
I was ten years old when I asked my parents about Santa Claus and my mother told me that she and my father were really him (with strict instructions not to tell my brother and sister of course!). That was the first year I heard his bells jingling as he put the gifts beneath our tree on Christmas Eve. I can still hear the bells as clearly now as I did then. There was a huge part of me that did not want to believe that what I had been told was true . . . the mind is a powerful thing, and I did hear his bells. I truly did. Could it have been the innocence of childhood leaving me? I don't know . . . in any case it is a memory I treasure, and somehow made the loss that little bit less painful!
I have always loved this piece, which was first published in The Sun Newspaper, on September 21, 1897 as a response to a little girls letter to the editor. 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 stamp. It warms my heart each time I read it!
Tatiana is here! I snapped this with the iPad last night as we were sitting relaxing after we got back home here. Plenty of hugs going on. I am so happy! I am sure our visit will pass far too quickly. Today I am cooking a turkey for our friend Doreen, and I have a potato salad to make for our Christmas day lunch with the Missionaries. I am going to get Tatiana to make the peanut butter balls. We will spend the day chatting and laughing and then this evening we will drop Doreen's turkey off to her on our way to the chapel for our Christmas Eve Carol Service! Looking forward to that, and bonus! Second day in a row waking up to very little pain! Praise the Lord!
I just know it has been all of your well wishes and prayers that have helped me to feel better. Thank you all so very much! I know that medicine also helped. ;-)
A thought to carry with you through today . . .
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“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories
and love of kindred,
and we are better throughout the year
for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder.
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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Mince Pie Muffins. So good!
Have a wonderful day today. Don't work too hard. Remember . . .
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And I do too!!
Oh . . . and a very Merry Christmas! With love from our home to yours.