Wednesday 8 December 2010

Yes, Virginia . . .

In 1897, eight year old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote the above letter to Francis P. Church, the Editor of the New York Sun.

The Editor's reply became instantly famous, and more than one hundred years later, it continues to be the most reprinted editorial to ever run in an English-language newspaper.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical 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 it's 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 existance. 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, but even if you 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, 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 lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

~Francis P Church, Editor The New York Sun

I just love that story. As I always told my own children . . . When you stop believing in Santa Claus, he stops coming.

Here's something healthy to be getting on with amidst all the rich and calorific foods we will be indulging ourselves in during the coming weeks!

*Herby Vegetable Dip*
Makes 1 ½ cups
Printable Recipe

Why buy something pre-made that is totally full of preservatives and other artificial things that if we really knew what they were we wouldn’t want to eat??? Try making your own from scratch. It’s not that hard and tastes infinitely better! You can use low fat mayonnaise and crème fraiche if you want to keep the fat down.

1 cup good quality mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream or crème fraiche
2 tsp chopped fresh dill weed
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 TBS chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 TBS chopped fresh chives
1 small clove of garlic minced
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce.

Mix all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for several hours before using, in order for the flavours to meld. Serve with raw crudités. Some delicious suggestions are: Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, red, yellow or green pepper sticks, raw mushrooms, sliced cucumber, radishes, etc.

*Note - you will want to chop the herbs fairly finely. Dried herbs can be used. Just cut the amounts in half.

Over in The English Kitchen today, Linzer Cookies!


  1. Oh to have a child's innocent beliefs:) I am loving the new Kelloggs advert, the little girl makes your heart melt:)



  2. What? Is there somebody who doesn't believe in Santa Claus? I didn't know, Oh the poor things! I bet they also think that the white fluffy things that blow about are dandelions gone to seed. Nah - they're fairies. Everyone knows that. It's the one time you actually can catch them dancing on the lawn. Only DON'T catch them - they're on their way home to bed.

    I don't know...<>

  3. Santa is one of those characters that emits the spirit of Christmas and I think that goodwill and cheer are a part of it all. I still believe in that for I guess I believe in Santa. Veggies are one thing I don't eat enough of during the winter months. I really need to put more of them in my diet. That dip sounds very good. I hope your Wednesday is a great one!

  4. santa IS real!!! i love that editor's response-perfect:)


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