02 December 2011

Day 3 of Christmas Nightlight Readings: Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

In September of 1897 a little girl, as most children do at her age, was contemplating the existence of Santa Claus. As she was an astute child (after all she was a doctor's daughter), she thought it necessary to inquire upon the truth. So she decided to write a letter to the editor of The New York Sun, and this is what she penned:
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?
The reply, which we now know was veteran newsman, Francis P. Church, has been one of the most reprinted editorials in history. Not only becoming a published children's book (Yes, Virginia, 1971), but also—with the great sponsorship and the commercialization of Macy's—has become a CBS Christmas special. Even in one of my favorite Holiday classics, "Prancer," the last couple paragraphs are read. After reading the article, even the scroogiest Santa critic, will become a believer of Claus.

The original article from The New York Sun (Sep. 21, 1897)

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