"Is there a Santa Claus?"
Although the story is more commonly recounted during the Christmas season, the famous response of then New York Sun editor Francis Pharcellus Church to eight year old Virginia O'Hanlon's historic inquiry first appeared in the September 21, 1897 edition of that newspaper; whereupon Mister Church categorically stated beyond all doubt that there is indeed a Santa Claus.
The question has since gone on to be presented and pondered in other media, including various adaptations of the Virginia story and the tale known as Miracle on 34th Street.
The Free Choice E-zine concurs with Mister Church's original response, but would like to humbly add the following addendum for more modern times:
While much has happened in the world and to our understanding of it since that more simpler time of little Virginia's original inquiry, Mister Church's perception of skepticism is still as accurate today as it was then.
It is sadly all too easy to lose that sense of wonder and awe any Human being initially possesses upon their birth. Those are very precious commodities that are quick to disappear as we grow older if we are not careful.
The belief in anything is a question of faith, and although that is an enigmatic subject mostly associated with religions, it is by no means restricted to them alone.
It is faith, as much as love, gravity, etc.; that makes the world go round.
But there are so many different religions in the world, each with their own beliefs and followers, and while some share similar perspectives on many issues, all believe that theirs is the "one" way.
Yet theological debates come and go. Sone religions have gone as far as to change their tenets and edit their respective tomes from time to time. Wars and terrorism have even been conducted in 'holy' causes.
So isn't it interesting that the concept of Santa Claus transcends global boundaries and cultures?
Father Christmas, Pere Noel, Christkind, Juelmanden...
There are as many different names for him as there are countries upon this world we all share that express the same belief in him.
But this is by no means a suggestion that a belief in Santa Claus should replace any religion.
Santa Claus first and foremost should always represent the ideals of peace and good will to the masses during this time of year, no matter how much commercialism some try to add on. There have been too many attempts to "cash in" on this icon, which risks diluting the intended message.
And it is within those lofty beliefs of peace and good will, along with love and hope, that each and every one of us should strive to achieve and pass on not just today, but always, to better this world so that our children, and the generations yet to come, can be.
THAT is why Santa Claus has existed in the past, does exist today, and will still exist tomorrow.
As you spend this holiday with your family and loved ones dear readers, remember that it is not what you receive, but that which you already have in your hearts that makes the season truly special.
After all, there is no age limit to believing...
An Editorial by Lee Houston, Junior; Editor-In-Chief of The Free Choice E-zine.