Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

Beautifully letterpress printed and hand bound pamphlet
Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus, a beautiful letterpress booklet; reprint of famous newspaper lett

The ring of the cash register destroying much

As we slide into winter, we are bombarded by a frenzy of “Black Friday” events designed to separate us from our wallets.  This avalanche of advertising is symptomatic of a dry rot that is gutting our culture. Of course, businesses are here to earn money and I don’t fault them for reaching out to customers to let them know of the products they have.   But the relentless, ever earlier and earlier race to cram “Christmas” down our throats, is part of a disease eating out our innards.

Thanksgiving my favorite holiday

I may be among a minority, but I think Thanksgiving is the grandest of the holidays we have. For the most part, commercialism has been unable to dig its fingers into the holiday, leaving it alone to be a day to celebrate with our families and our friends the fact that we are family and friends.  A few  years back the money grubbers decided to eclipse Thanksgiving by making it a preliminary event to the real cash register ringer, Christmas.  So “Black Friday” was invented.  But in time, “Black Friday” as a day piggybacked on Thanksgiving, began to prove inadequate.  and “Black Friday” now is a week’s long crusade.  When it flares out what will the Madison Avenue geniuses discover as a new ticket into our credit cards?

A little girl’s letter

I understand there isn’t much we can do to restore a balance in our collective life.  That reality discourages me, but in a moment of this discouragement, I remembered something I read many years back: a simple letter from a young girl to the New York Sun newspaper in 1897.  She asked: “Is There A Santa Claus.”  The editorial reply from the newspaper reminds us that, indeed, there is a Santa Claus “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.”  Nothing there about buying  trinkets, about shelling out money for a new car or about purchasing kitchen gadgets.  Nope.  Instead, the enduring values of “love, and generosity and devotion” that lay at the heart of the mystery of Santa Claus.  “Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus” became the most reprinted editorial in American history and I believe it deserves a closer look.  Look it up on the internet, or if you would like a quality, hot-metal typeset and letterpress-printed copy of the editorial, check here.

Until later . . .

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