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Sep 29th
Home Sections Humor & Satire Yes, Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus . . .
Yes, Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus . . . PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Monday, 24 December 2007 11:18

V irginia, your little friends are right. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see in advertisements and commercials. 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, except those of the politicians and their friends in business, media and industry. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless business world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth, knowledge, bottom lines and profit-and-loss statements.

(Editor's Note: This article was supposed to be the editorial that should have appeared in the New York Sun newspaper in Christmas 1897. A Sun Op/Ed staff member wrote the original draft of the newspaper's answer to a query made by an 8-year-old reader, Virginia O'Hanlon. She inquired from the New York Sun if indeed "there is no Santa Claus," as some of her little friends said. It seemed that this original answer was rejected by the Sun's editor-in-chief, who then printed an opposite version called, "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus . . ." Virginia's father told her, "If you see it in the Sun it's so." Bobby Reyes got hold of a copy of the rejected Sun editorial, which was supposedly found by a Chinese laundryman as he was cleaning the jacket of the Sun editorial writer. This Chinaman eventually settled in the Bicol Region of the Philippines, after he met and married a Bicolano maid in Hong Kong at the turn of the 20th century. A scion of this Chinaman passed on to Bobby Reyes an authenticated Xerox of the original unpublished New York Sun manuscript, which was just found recently in the family archives.)

Yes, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. For he is a mere creation of merchants, toy makers, storeowners and the people who use him to sell products or services in the month of December. His existence is as certain as the merchant's love for business, generosity to stockholders and devotion to the Almighty Dollar exist. For they think that what gives your life its highest beauty and joy are toys and dolls on Christmas. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus and the toys that he sells to the parents of children? It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no businesslike faith then, no profits, and no income to make tolerable this marginal existence. Without Santa Claus and his goodies on Christmas Eve, the world of children would have no enjoyment. The eternal life with which childhood fills the business world's toy industry would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus? You might as well not believe in Wall Street. You might get your papa to hire unionized security guards to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, why, you could see him and even sit on his lap, for a fee, at the department store! Who says nobody can see Santa Claus when you can see him on department store's flyers, on newspaper ads and even hear him sing on the stage at Broadway? The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see profits dancing on Wall Street? Of course not, but there's no proof that they are not being paid to the capitalists and the stockholders. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are, unseen and unforeseeable, in the business world.

You may tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil of corporate fiction covering the business world, which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest union members that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside this holiday culture of consumerism, materialism and the outrageous practices of trade and liberalism. Can you now view the picture of the supernatural beauty and glory of the real Christmas story beyond Santa Claus? Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in this world there is nothing else real and abiding except birth, death and taxes.

No Santa Claus? Thank Wall Street he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, Santa Claus will continue to make glad the hearts of investors, toy makers, storeowners, Christmas-card makers, etcetera, ad infinitum.
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