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Copresco: Yes Virginia There Is A Santa Claus...
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Yes Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus…

At Copresco, we used the “Yes Virginia” headline approach long ago, in both the January 1997 and 1998 issues of Overnight Lite. The story of Virginia, however, is 100 years older.

Francis Pharcellus Church wrote an enduring editorial “Is There A Santa Claus?” that first appeared in the New York Sun on September 21, 1897. Since then, it has been reprinted as a classic expression of Christmas sentiment hundreds of times in numerous languages.

Here's the complete and original copy:


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 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 O'Hanlon, 115 West Ninety-Fifth Street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except 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 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 to 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 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.

The Oldest Page

Yes, Virginia is the oldest page on Copresco’s website. For the sake of nostalgia we’ve preserved much of the original html coding. The scrolling headline which seems so cheesy now was quite a trick back in 1996! The original page was also linked to a .midi sound file that played Christmas carols when the page was opened, but so many people complained that we disconnected the music!

We’ve never taken this page down since originally posting it, although we added code to keep it working with the rest of our site. Such web coding as tables and frames have come and gone, but Virginia remains. We used to put up a link to Virginia only during the Christmas holidays, but years ago we decided to keep her on our links page year ‘round. Her message of love and generosity and devotion are timeless and know no season. Not many internet sites can boast a page that dates back to 1897!