For two hundred years America was viewed by the common man of the world as the pillar of freedom, a source of hope and an ideal that resided not only in the physical aspects of the country but in the spirit of a new and great nation.  America is now viewed by many as a country divided, inefficient, unable to lead and a feeling by the world that the spirit of America was only a myth.  I say bunk.  Great nations go through various cycles.  Some emerge with a new sense of purpose and grow stronger while others continue a downward spiral that ultimately leads to their demise.  America now has an opportunity to take a time-out from the forces that have been at odds with each other, reflect on what has gone wrong and emerge once again as a beacon for the world to follow.  We now have an excuse, an opportunity to reach across the aisle in Washington and build America again as one nation.

As we approach the wondrous holiday of Christmas there is one story that perhaps provides reassurance that the American spirit is not a myth but is instead a concept that has been shrouded in a cloak of pessimism by nay sayers that see the glass as being half empty instead of half full.  Let us find hope in the American dream as we read the words of a small eight-year-old at Christmas and the response to these by a newspaper editor in 1897.

“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. “

Merry Christmas everyone and may the spirit of Christmas and the spirit of America glow brighter in the hearts of all of us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s