Banks County Opinions...

DECEMBER 22, 2004


Column

The Banks County News
December 22, 2004

The Christmas Story
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
And all went to be taxed, everyone into his own city. And Joseph also went up to from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were so afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:1-14

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Column

The Banks County News
December 22, 2004

Yes, There is a Santa...’
It was first published more than 100 years ago in the New York Sun, but it still rings true today.
The “Yes Virginia” editorial, written by Francis P. Church, is perhaps one of the most famous editorials ever printed. It is also most likely the most reprinted editorial ever written.
We reprint it this Christmas season for your enjoyment and ours.
We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of the Sun:

Dear Editor:
I am 8 years old.
Some of my 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 O’Hanlon
115 West 95 Street

Virginia,
Your 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. 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 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 child-life 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 people 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.
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 there’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders that 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 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, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Francis P. Church
The New York Sun, Dec. 21, 1897


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