Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon composed a letter come the editor of brand-new York’s Sun, and also the quick solution was printed as one unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work-related of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial, showing up in component or totality in dozens of languages in books, movies, and also other editorials, and on posters and also stamps

Photo Gallery
Virginia O’Hanlon, c. 1897 (Courtesy James Temple)
Editorial writer Francis P. Church (The Century combination Archives Foundation)
Francis P. Church’s famous editorial (chathamtownfc.net collection)

The Editorial

DEAR EDITOR: ns am 8 year old.Some of my little friends say over there is no Santa Claus.Papa says, ‘If you watch it in THE sunlight it’s so.’Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?


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VIRGINIA, your small friends are wrong. They have actually been affected by the suspicion of a skeptical age. They perform not think except they see. Castle think that nothing deserve to be i beg your pardon is not comprehensible by their tiny minds. Every minds, Virginia, whether they it is in men’s or children’s, are little. In this good universe of ours male is a only insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the totality of truth and also knowledge.

Yes, VIRGINIA, over there is a Santa Claus. He exist as definitely as love and generosity and also devotion exist, and you recognize that lock abound and also give to her life its highest possible beauty and also joy. Alas! exactly how dreary would certainly be the civilization if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would certainly be no childlike confidence then, no poetry, no romance to do tolerable this existence. Us should have no enjoyment, except in sense and also sight. The eternal light with which childhood filling the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! you might as well not believe in fairies! You might get her papa come hire guys to watch in every the chimneys top top Christmas eve to record Santa Claus, but even if they walk not watch Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody look at Santa Claus, however that is no sign that over there is no Santa Claus. The most real points in the human being are those the neither kids nor men have the right to see. Go you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, however that’s no proof the they room not there. Nobody can develop or imagine every the marvels there are unseen and also unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what renders the noise inside, however there is a veil covering the unseen people which not the strongest man, nor also the united stamin of every the strongest guys that ever before lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, deserve to push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and also glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in every this world there is nothing else real and also abiding.

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No Santa Claus! give thanks to God! he lives, and also he resides forever. A thousand year from now, Virginia, nay, ten time ten thousand years from now, that will continue to make glad the love of childhood.