Santa Paula Times

Read all about it! Itís true Virginia... Santa Claus exists!

December 23, 2011

(with apologies to Francis B. Church of The New York Sun, circa 1897)†

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Santa Paula Times:

Dear Editor-

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ďIf you see it in The Santa Paula Times, itís so.Ē 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. They have been reading a newspaper other than The Santa Paula Times.†

All minds, Virginia, whether they be menís or childrenís, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant (albeit sometimes one with credit cards) 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. You can see this for yourself by watching television programs where the main topic is politics.†

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, no toys to assemble Christmas morning that take hours - only to find that a screw is missing (and we donít mean from Mommyís and Daddyís heads). We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished except for the glow of the Nintendo.†

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 (other than Papaís hired men were probably drinking too much)?†

Nobody sees Santa Claus (they canít tear their eyes off video games), 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 thatís no proof that they are not there (of course if you did see fairies dancing on the lawn someone might arrange a nice vacation for you and heavy medication).†

Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the babyís 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 other than that clause in the contract with Claus signed with the twinkle in his eye!

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... and youíll continue to read about him in The Santa Paula Times.†

Now, dear child, go to bed - but donít forget to leave out that hot chocolate and cookies!