Yes, Virginia … I believe in Santa.

santacoke

Published on this day, 120 years ago, it’s meaning and poetry is still tremendous and beautiful.

You may have heard the expression, “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.” But you probably didn’t know from whence it came.

It came as an editorial in the New York Sun Newspaper September 21, 1897 in response to a letter written to The Sun by an 8-year old girl named Virginia.

Like so many children then and now, the youngster was disturbed by friends telling her there is no Santa Claus, and she was asking an authority she could trust for an answer.

Click on the link here to read the entire editorial from 1897:

Source: Yes, Virginia … – The New York Sun

Oh, how I would dread to be a parent to tell my kids there is no Santa Claus. To do so removes dreams and magic from a child’s life that they can never get back.

Most other cultures don’t know of or celebrate Santa Claus. In Mexico, for instance, children are taught that Baby Jesus brings them gifts Christmas Eve night. And still others will deny Santa Claus because they believe, to believe in Santa Claus diminishes the true meaning of Christmas, which is to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.

I understand these facts. But I still believe in Santa Claus because my father told me so; and because as a 53 year old child I still feel and enjoy the magic of such a belief. To deny Santa Claus doesn’t validify Jesus; just as believing in Santa doesn’t deny Jesus. To me, its just a matter of joy and putting that joy into my life and the life of my children and hopefully, someday Grandchildren.

My favorite Christmas’

Christmas lights 2010

Christmas lights

An epiphany hit me a few years back that will forever enable me to value Christmas even more than I already do. It dawned on me that if you’re lucky you’ll enjoy about 80 Christmas’ in a lifetime. Eighty! That’s all. Obviously some will enjoy 100, and sadly some will only be present to enjoy an extraordinary few. So I’m averaging.

It seemed to me that 80 wasn’t much. I mean, if you packed them all back to back you don’t even get three months worth. Then when you subtract the first 3-5 years that you will never remember, and subtract the holidays when you have to work, and subtract the times when circumstances keep you from your loved ones the number diminishes more and more.

So for a celebration I have already always enjoyed, I vowed to really cherish each Christmas, and to remember them.

My childhood Christmas celebrations were usually fabulous. For this I can thank my father. Dad was really big on Christmas. He always decorated the house with the most lights of any other on our middle class block. And he spoiled my brother and I with everything we wanted every year and a few things we didn’t know we wanted. I distinctly remember one shopping season when I went out of my way to ask my Dad NOT to buy me the increasingly popular plaid shirts that every department store seemed to have. I didn’t like them. I got two that Christmas. I didn’t wear them for months…but then gave in to the fad and wore them all the time.

Fonzie (interpreted by Henry Winkler), star of...

The Fonz

When The Fonz was real popular on the TV showHappy Days” in the late 70s I asked for a leather jacket as a gift. I wanted to look like Arthur Fonzerelli. I guess I wasn’t specific enough. Because my Dad did buy me a leather coat. But it was a bomber’s style coat. The kind with the furry collar lapel. Again, I didn’t like it at first. But like my Dad somehow always knew…I came to love it. I wore it religiously from age 13 well into my 30s when my added 20 pounds didn’t make it a good look any more. I gave it to my son about 5 years ago. Like me he didn’t like it or ever wear it…until recently. In the past 2 months he doesn’t go anywhere without it. You better believe I love that.

I was working on Christmas Day 1985 as a DJ at a small country music station. But before working the night shift and after visiting my Mom’s home and then my Dad’s, I managed to squeeze in a short 10 minute visit at my girlfriend’s house. There, at the age of 21, I asked my girlfriend to be my wife. I gave her a humble diamond ring; black hills gold leafs with a small diamond laying between them. My wife deserved so much more. So on Christmas morning 2007 after our kids excitedly woke us up to tell us that Santa had come, before getting out of bed, I rolled over, reached into my nightstand and pulled out the ring’s replacement. The much larger stone and white gold looked beautiful on her finger. And still does.

But easily my all time favorite Christmas was 1998. Our house was full with visiting family from California, and as usual we hosted the Christmas dinner. All our loved ones were there. My pregnant wife went into labor right after we’d all enjoyed our desserts, and around 8:30pm Christmas night we waved goodbye to all those people in our house and drove to Overlake Hospital in Bellevue, WA where we were presented at 6:03 am December 26th, 1998 with our all-time best Christmas gift. We gave our daughter the name Micah Noel. Micah being the Biblical prophet who foretold the birth of a savior in the City of David, Bethlehem. And, of course, Noel the 14th Century English word for Christmas.

I’ve been blessed with many great Christmas’; but these are the highlights. May your day be special and most important may it be a memory representative of how few of these holy days we get to enjoy in our very short lives.

English: Nativity scene

The birth of Jesus

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

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