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There is a Santa Claus |

Modern Living

There is a Santa Claus

SECOND WIND - Barbara Gonzalez-Ventura - The Philippine Star

Every morning I read Sarah Ban Breathnach’s Simple Abundance, where she writes a piece for every day. Sometimes I get bored and it quickly slips my mind. But she wrote a piece about Santa Claus that I like very much and I think is worth almost copying. But I will try not to plagiarize.

 One September afternoon in 1897, a little eight-year-old American girl named Virginia O’Hanlon went to her father. She was distressed and on the verge of tears. Her friends had told her there was no Santa Claus. Like many fathers her father did not know what to say. So he told her to ask the authorities. He asked her to write the newspaper.

 Now they lived in a small town in America. The newspaper was called The Sun. Virginia wrote: “Papa says, ‘If you see it in the Sun it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?”

 This was written in 1897, about 118 years ago, so more than a hundred Christmases have come and gone since Virginia asked for the truth about Santa Claus. Children of all ages — and I ask you to note all ages from two years to a 100 and 10 years old — have a deep desire to believe in a great, benevolent and generous gift giver who rewards the good. Christmas allows the child slumbering in each of our souls the chance to be reborn every year, awakening a sense of joy and wonder that even eleven months of doubt, derision or discouragement can’t snuff out. All that it asks is that we believe.

 Believe in what? Believe in whatever means the most to you at this moment. That Love makes it possible to believe in all things, especially miracles. Believe that there’s a miracle with your name on it. Believe that when you wish on the moon or a star, Someone — an angel or a friend or a total stranger — will build  the bridges that will cross the gaps to your dream until it comes true. Believe that out there there is a Santa Claus who will reward you for having  been very very good this year.

 Maybe we should all write to Santa Claus again. Let’s do it today. Sit down with your best pen, your favorite stationery and ask Santa for one gift of the Spirit that he might give you this year. I will ask him to take away my laziness and replace it with friendliness. I have to get out of my introvert mode and do more things for more people.  Now seal the letter and put it under your Christmas tree. Now let’s all patiently wait to see what happens.  Every day look at the letter and say, “I believe I will get the gift I asked for. I really believe it. I believe!  I believe! I believe!”

 Now let’s go back to Virginia. The newspaper editor, Frank Church wrote:

 “Virginia, your little friends are wrong.  They have been affected by the skepticism of the 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 grown-ups or children’s are little.

 “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 enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

 “Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! . . . The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor grown-ups can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn?  Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there.

 “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 grown-up that ever  lived could not tear apart.  Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and the view the beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else so real and abiding.

 “No Santa Claus? Of course there is. Thank God that he lives and will live 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.”

 Clap if you believe, says Sarah Ban Breathnach. You don’t hear me but I’m clapping loud.

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Please text your comments to 0917-8155570.


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