Is There A Santa Claus? Papai Noel existe? – Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday’s to all our readers!!! Feliz Natal e um Feliz Ano novo a Todos os nossos leitores!!!

 
Foi no natal de 1897 – que Virgínia O’Hanlon Douglas, uma garotinha de 8 anos, filha de um médico de Nova York escreveu para o jornal The Sun perguntando se Papai Noel existia.

O jornal publicou sua carta e a resposta do editorialista Francis Church, foi um sucesso tão grande que o The Sun reproduziu-as durante os anos seguintes, na época do Natal, até o seu último número em 1949. O fato se tornou tão famoso na imprensa mundial, virou livro com recorde de venda nos Estados Unidos.

Editorial do The Sun, 1897

É com enorme prazer que respondemos à carta abaixo, aproveitando para expressar nossa enorme gratidão em reconhecer sua autora como fiel amiga do The Sun.

Carta de Virgínia:
Prezado Editor : Tenho 8 anos, alguns dos meus amiguinhos dizem que não existe Papai Noel. Meu pai costuma falar: “Se estiver no The Sun, então será verdade.” Por favor, me diga a verdade, Papai Noel existe?

Virgínia O’Hanlon

Resposta do The Sun:
Virgínia, seus amiguinhos estão errados.

Provavelmente foram afetados pela descrença de uma época em que as pessoas acreditam em poucas coisas. Só acreditam naquilo que vêem. Eles acham que o que não compreendem com suas cabecinhas não pode existir.

Todas as mentes, Virgínia, sejam dos adultos ou as das crianças, são limitadas.

Nesse nosso grande universo, o homem é um mero inseto, uma formiguinha, quando seu intelecto é comparado com o infinito que o cerca ou quando medido pela inteligência capaz de entender toda a verdade e conhecimento.

Sim, Virgínia, Papai Noel existe.

Isso é tão certo quanto a existência do amor, da generosidade e da devoção, e você sabe que tudo isso existe em abundância trazendo mais beleza e alegria à nossa vida.

Ah! como seria triste o mundo sem Papai Noel!

Seria tão triste quanto não existir Virgínias. Não haveria então a fé das crianças, a poesia e a fantasia para fazer a nossa existência suportável.

Não teríamos alegria nem prazer a não ser com os nossos sentidos: seria preciso ver e tocar para poder sonhar.

A transparente luz das crianças, com a qual inundam o mundo, seria apagada.

Não acreditar em Papai Noel!… É o mesmo que não acreditar em fadas!

Você poderá pedir ao seu pai para contratar muitos homens para vigiar todas as chaminés na véspera de Natal e assim pegar Papai Noel; mas, mesmo que você não o visse descendo por elas, o que isso provaria?

Ninguém vê Papai Noel, mas não há sinais de que ele não existe.

Você por acaso já viu fadas dançando no jardim?

Claro que não, mas não há provas de que elas não estejam por lá.

Ninguém pode conceber ou imaginar todas as maravilhas do mundo que nunca foram vistas e que nunca poderão ser admiradas.

As coisas mais reais do mundo são aquelas que nem as crianças nem os adultos podem ver. Se quebrarmos o chocalho de um bebezinho, poderemos ver o que faz aquele barulho lá dentro, mas existe um véu cobrindo o mundo invisível, que nem o homem mais forte, nem mesmo toda a força de todos os homens mais fortes do mundo reunida poderia rasgar.

Somente a fé, a poesia, o amor e a fantasia podem abrir essa cortina e desvendar a beleza e a glória celestiais que existem por trás dela.

Será que tudo isso é real?

Ah, Virgínia, em todo este mundo não existe nada mais real e duradouro.

Se Papai Noel existe?

Graças a Deus ele vive e viverá para sempre.

Daqui a mil anos, Virgínia, e ainda daqui a dez mil anos ou dez vezes esse número ele continuará a fazer feliz o coração das crianças.

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Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Editorial Page, New York Sun, 1897

We take pleasure in answering 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:

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

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a sceptic al 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 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 external 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 you 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, 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 lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

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From The People’s Almanac, pp. 1358-9.

Francis P. Church’s editorial, “Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus” was an immediate sensation, and became one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in theThe New York Sun in 1897, almost a hundred years ago, and was reprinted annually until 1949 when the paper went out of business.

Thirty-six years after her letter was printed, Virginia O’Hanlon recalled the events that prompted her letter:

“Quite naturally I believed in Santa Claus, for he had never disappointed me. But when less fortunate little boys and girls said there wasn’t any Santa Claus, I was filled with doubts. I asked my father, and he was a little evasive on the subject.

“It was a habit in our family that whenever any doubts came up as to how to pronounce a word or some question of historical fact was in doubt, we wrote to the Question and Answer column in The Sun. Father would always say, ‘If you see it in the The Sun, it’s so,’ and that settled the matter.

” ‘Well, I’m just going to write The Sun and find out the real truth,’ I said to father.

“He said, ‘Go ahead, Virginia. I’m sure The Sun will give you the right answer, as it always does.’ “

And so Virginia sat down and wrote her parents’ favorite newspaper.

Her letter found its way into the hands of a veteran editor, Francis P. Church. Son of a Baptist minister, Church had covered the Civil War for The New York Times and had worked on the The New York Sun for 20 years, more recently as an anonymous editorial writer. Church, a sardonic man, had for his personal motto, “Endeavour to clear your mind of cant.” When controversial subjects had to be tackled on the editorial page, especially those dealing with theology, the assignments were usually given to Church.

Now, he had in his hands a little girl’s letter on a most controversial matter, and he was burdened with the responsibility of answering it.

“Is there a Santa Claus?” the childish scrawl in the letter asked. At once, Church knew that there was no avoiding the question. He must answer, and he must answer truthfully. And so he turned to his desk, and he began his reply which was to become one of the most memorable editorials in newspaper history.

Church married shortly after the editorial appeared. He died in April, 1906, leaving no children.

Virginia O’Hanlon went on to graduate from Hunter College with a Bachelor of Arts degree at age 21. The following year she received her Master’s from Columbia, and in 1912 she began teaching in the New York City school system, later becoming a principal. After 47 years, she retired as an educator. Throughout her life she received a steady stream of mail about her Santa Claus letter, and to each reply she attached an attractive printed copy of the Church editorial. Virginia O’Hanlon Douglas died on May 13, 1971, at the age of 81, in a nursing home in Valatie, N.Y.

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