She was a little girl around the age of five with tears running down her face. She asked me if my girlfriend’s daughter was here. All I could muster was concern and asked her what was wrong.
Her lips trembled. A tear dripped down her cheek.
“There is no Santa Claus because we did not get a thing last year.”
I stood there for a second, really not knowing what to say. Should I invite her in? Should I tell her that there is a Santa Claus? Was I in the right position to tell a five year old girl this?
I told her to wait. Her blonde hair fluttered in the wind. Her icy blue eyes were just to much.
I gave her some peanut butter cookies and an ornament off of our tree.
“Put the ornament on the tree and Santa will come this year.”
She nodded, wiped off the tears, and hugged me.
“Merry Christmas. He will come this year I promise.”
After she left, all I could think about was a famous Christmas letter. I wish I could have read it to her before she went back home.
Here it is:
Eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter, “Is There A Santa Claus?” to the editor of New York’s Sun, and the quick response was printed as an unsigned editorial Sept. 21, 1897. The work of veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church has since become history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial of all time.
“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. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.
Not believe in Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
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.”
Francis Pharcellus Church
Sometimes even a cookie can make a difference in a person’s outlook in life. Where there’s kindness there’s hope. And when there’s hope there’s faith.
I wish you and your family the kindest Christmas ever.
~ Ian Garrison
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