Editorials ~ Sonoma Valley Sun


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Posted on December 16, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun
September, 1897
– 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, 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.
Virginia O’Hanlon wrote her letter to the editor of The New York Sun and this response, written by Francis Pharcellus Church, was printed as an unsigned editorial on Sept. 21, 1897.


2 thoughts on “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

  1. Bah hum bug! Xmas misogyny. A fairytale ladened with repeated and telling father-knows-best references of the day to ‘’papa,’ men’ and ‘man’ but not a mention of women who did things no man could do: like give birth to Virginia. Because of such patronizing fairytales that sugarcoated the hard realities of life for womwn and litle girls, it took little Virginia & all her girl friends until the next century to realize that old white men like those at the New York Sun & the fat old white guy coming down the chimney weren’t ever goin to bring her Hope, or even the right to vote, unless she went out and broke things.

  2. It’s seems the double standards of free speech continue. What is this person’s name and what is the real email address. It seems this cranky Scrooge is using a false name. Why is that allows with a hater of Christmas but when someone supports John Loe and his beautiful new Loe Dispensary at 27 Fremont Drive in Sonoma the comments are deleted and a moderator demands a real email from the commenter. The Sonoma Sun’s very active restrictions and censorship are biased and partisan. This is another example why and how our first amendment is being eroded. In this case the censorship is at the hands of the “free press”. These boomers and their narcissist opinions are one thing. When they illegally interpret the us bill of rights and use their powerful positions to discriminate and restrict unpopular speech, they are uniquely to blame for when speech breaks down and the ther forms of settling differences are inevitably used. There is a reason why we used to have an expression, “I don’t agree with what he says but I will fight to death to protect his right to say it”. All standards and ideals that held this country together are being eroded by the know-it-all press, most of whom can’t articulate their arguments that give them perceived virtue for controlling and restricting speech. This is another example, the bully press and their double standards. Ask a boomer what free speech means and they will start to tell you what they must silence. Out country has been damaged to the edge of no return by these Bolshevik baby boomers and their failed thinking. Time to push back against their group “wrong-think”.

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