Yes, Natalie, There is a Santa Claus!

Yesterday and today I visited the same yard sale.  I was eyeing the huge display of Christmas balls and ornaments, artificial trees and lights.  I had in mind to purchase some for our massive tree decorating project, but, frankly, even at yard sale prices, I would have spent too much.

At lunch, Jeremy said, “Why don’t you just ask?”

As Shakespeare would say, “Screw your courage to the sticking place!”  I did just that.  I returned to the sale and explained our Yule Log charity project to the homeowner and asked if she would consider a reduced price.  Not only did she reduce the prices, she threw in extra Christmas balls and ornaments for free!  Who would have expected such enthusiastic generosity?

Coincidentally, at lunch I had mentioned that the Newseum tweeted yesterday that September 21 was the anniversary of the most read and re-printed editorial of all time:  “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus.”  This letter was first published in 1897 in the New York Sun in response to an 8-year-old’s letter to the newspaper.  Virginia O’Hanlon wrote that her father told her, “If you see it in The Sun, it is so.”  While all of us have heard the memorable line, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” have you ever read the inspirational words of the letter? They’re worth a second look.  I have included the Newseum’s link to the letter here.

In part of the famous letter, newsman Francis Pharcellus Church wrote, “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.”  

Here it is, a very warm day in late September, when just about no one is thinking about snow and Christmas.  All the same, I had my proof of Santa’s existence at a yard sale!


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