With apologies to the most famous Christmas editorial in history, here is our version of the New York Sun’s response in 1897 when 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon sent the newspaper a letter with an important question. She had been told that Santa Claus wasn't real and her dad told her to write to the paper and if “you see it in the Sun, it's so.”
I am 62 years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus — that’s he’s written 2020 off because kindness, honesty and selfless acts have been drowned out by cries of “my rights!,” stress and hatred. Please tell me Santa Claus hasn’t abandoned us.
“Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds, including a worldwide pandemic and a contentious political scene. 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 — and the wonders of honesty and science.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and he has not given up on 2020. 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, even if this year he is wearing a mask to protect you and others! 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 a stressful 2020.
We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood (and faith in science) fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies and bipartisan efforts! 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, right next to the political signs and inflatable snowmen? 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.
Only faith, poetry, love and romance can push aside that curtain of the unseen and view the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.”
Virginia O'Hanlon died at age of 81 and no doubt believed in Santa to the very end, just as we believe that we will soon work past political differences, in a 2021 filled with health, happiness, bridge building and, hopefully, a few Happy Hours with friends.