Defending our holidays year round

Every once in a while I think that America has hit rock bottom only to be proven wrong as we seem to dig deeper in the mire of political posturing and positioning. As this continues to happen we seem to feel alienated and alone as we ask ourselves, “what has happened to our great nation”. Though we are sickened by the political rivalries with a winner take all and no room to negotiate actions in Washington, there is still that small fire that burns in the heart of Americans that says that we can get through this and not only survive but thrive. There is no place for the cynic, the pessimist, the nay sayer in America.
Occasionally we need to take a timeout and back away from the conflicts in life. Rationalize our differences and build on the positives. In these dark days of America we can look back to 1897 and find comfort in the question from an eight year old child as she is asking if a children’s dream, an ideal and a spirit, is true or are the cynics correct. The question was posted in the Chicago Sun, a premier news paper of the time.
DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
115 W. 95th Street
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
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. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
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.
If you want to experience this period of time that is much simpler and filled with love and peace, come out to Lake D’arBonne State park and relish in the time of the season. Final night of the gala event is Saturday, December 16th.
Yes America there is an American Spirit and it lives in the hearts of all American citizens and in the hearts of all that desire to be American. God Bless America and welcome to the start of the wonderful Christmas Holiday.
Pray for the Ukraine, God Save Israel and Pray for world peace.

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