Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus
Editorial, New York Sun Editorial, 21st September, 1897
As we head towards the Christmas season I thought I d come out swinging, on the side of Santa Claus.
Belief in a jolly fat fellow dressed rather oddly in a red outfit with fetching snowy white fur trim, and travelling the world delivering presents to all the world’s children, on Christmas Eve in a sled pulled by reindeer, may seem, to put it at its mildest, out of step with twenty-first century reality.
But I beg to differ. The literal truth of the said fat fellow may have an equally fat question mark over it, but here is where the literal fades into insignificance before the symbolic and the experiential. Whether such a person as Saint Nikolaos ever wandered around 3rd and 4th century Myra putting coins in poor people’s shoes is open to scholarly debate.
But what is not open to debate is the reality of the generosity and open-hearted and open-handed spirit of the Christmas Season. To partake of that expansive, bounteous energy all we need to do is to enter into the spirit of giving, and join in the celebration of the season of Christ’s birth.
So, to all the Virginias who have ever asked: Yes, on a level beyond the literal, the mundane, the pedestrian, there is indeed a Santa Claus.