Thursday, December 17, 2009

Some Things Endure Forever...!

You know, most of the things we have around us seem to change from day to day.

We may forget at times that our children are also affected by the hustle and bustle, by the disturbing news presented by the media, and by all the outside influences in their lives.

They may come to us with questions and concerns, but often we put them off. Often we get so wrapped up in other things, we forget to pay attention of the little ones. This isn't a new occurrence. It's been that way for generations.

Once in a while, someone somewhere does listen! Sometimes they even take the time to answer the concerns voiced by the children, treating the concerns as real in the effort to provide a little peace of mind.

This is such a case...from a long time ago!

Eight-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote a letter to the editor of New York's Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history's most reprinted newspaper editorial, appearing in part or whole in dozens of languages in books, movies, and other editorials, and on posters and stamps.

"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 [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 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.

This letter, although written long ago, is a case of one person doing what he could to give comfort to a child, and to let that child hang on to some of the magic of the holidays!

We should do the same! We should help our own little ones hang onto the magic of the holidays! We should assist them in building the fond memories that will stay with them into adulthood. We should help them realize that family and home can provide a warm and joyous haven during the confusion of the season ahead.

If they have questions, answer them! If they need comfort, hug them! If they start to show stress, sit with them and share some smiles...and maybe some hot chocolate and a cookie! Include them in the planning and activities, remembering that this time of the year is very special for them!

And then, when you deem them old enough...explain to them the "reason for the season"! Help them to learn the true meaning of Christmas, so that it will continue to be very special to them, regardless of their age!

It seems to be the least we can do, don't you think?

Now, my friends, fresh coffee on the patio is called for...and there's hot chocolate and cookies for the kids as well!


Frugal Canadian Hermit said...

I knew it!!! I always knew he was real. And now I know for sure. Thanks for getting me steered in the right direction again Jim.
I've heard that pharse before "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus", I guess this is where it came from. Thats quite interesting actually.

HermitJim said...

Hey Hermit...
Thi is indeed the letter that the saying came from! Since it was originally written as an editorial, it has gone all over the world!

It's been made into books, movies, and several hit records...Good things do endure!

My friend, I do appreciate you coming by today!

murphyfish said...

Hello HermitJim,

It would be a sad world indeed if magic were to be lost, thank you for the reminder.

TEAM HALL said...

Morning Jim!! You know something...I have noticed a HUGE difference with my kids this Christmas season. Now that we're homeschooling, Ry isn't all jacked-up on "regular school" activities - she's calm this year. We have baked cookies to give out, etc. It's very home-oriented. We don't drag them around to stores very much either which I think makes them wingy!
Thanks for this post, Jim!!
And as always...the coffee is gooood!!!

Momlady said...

Of course there is a Santa. The spirit of Santa is in all of us. Some of us call him the Holly King. He is the spirit of the season and will, hopefully, live forever.

HermitJim said...

Hey John...
Good to see you again! You are so right! What would the world be without little magic?

May we always keep a little of it in our hearts!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Cath...
I'm glad to hear that the kids are more grounded in the fun of the season, and not so much the hustle and bustle part!

Centering things around the home is probably a great idea, my friend!

I really do appreciate the visit today!

Hey Momlady...
How true, how true! The spirit that lives in us all is what keeps everything in a magical state! How lucky we are to be able to see it and draw on it from time to time!

Thank you so much for coming by today, my friend!

JoJo said...

Morning My Special One, I never knew that the letter was that long. It was great to read and with your permission I would like to print it and post it at the house near the tree, for all my little ones.
I would love to sit on the patio and have some coffee and a cookie.
Hope we all have a great day

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
Of course you can copy it! That's what it's there for, to be shared!

Even though it was written a long time ago, it makes a good read still.

Coffee and cookies...coming up! Thanks for the visit today!

Kyddryn said...

When the Evil Genius has doubts, I ask him if he can see the wind. He says no. I ask him, if he cannot see the wind, does that mean it's not real? He says no, of course not, he can feel it and see how it moves the trees.


Just because one cannot see a thing doesn't mean it is not there.

I think it helps us get through rough days, believing in things unseen, and I've always been grateful to the man who said "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" and to everyone else who helps perpetuate the myth of the embodiment of generosity, compassion, kindness, and love.

Thanks for posting this, Mister Hermit, sir!

Shade and Sweetwater,
K (Who still hangs her own stocking on Yule eve in expectation of the Holly King's visit!)

HermitJim said...

Hey K...
Somehow I just knew that you would have a stocking hung up! Guess it's just because I see you as a magical person, huh?

I think that you are a very solid foundation for Bird...and he will be the better for it!

Thanks, dear lady, for coming by today!

Tatersmama said...

I believe...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hermit;

I KNOW there is a Santa...I always leave him cookies and milk, and he always leaves me ammo and guns.

See Ya

HermitJim said...

Hey Kate...
Glad to have another believer among us!

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Hey Tony...
Sounds to me like you and Santa got a good thing going! He's treating you pretty good, trading for just a plate of cookies and a glass of milk!

He4y, thanks for coming by, buddy!