To find the joy in your life, you have to open your heard and close your eyes as most real things in the world are those that neither children nor adults can see. It's the faith, the hope, the love, the spirit of giving and the joy that you give, and in return you will find the joy in your own life.It's not the material things that makes you happy, or how much money you have that gives you job. As it has been proven time and again, money doesn't buy happiness. Good health, faith, love and joy can work wonders and overcome many things and carry you far in life, rather than money.

It's the things that are invisible, the touch, the feel, the sense, the beauty, the love that truly is real. Just as the air we breathe, it's real and we know it's there. Or the love we give, it's there as people feel it. Or the joy we give, it's there because people experience it.

So to those who don't believe in the Spirit of Christmas, or in Santa Claus, what would life be like without it? Some believe in things that are only visible.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, as people every year forget the real meaning of Christmas and get stressed out, feel a sense of emptiness, as they go more in debt and buy material and unnecessary things so their children and family members are not without. More adults are pressured to give, to buy, to own things instead of giving the greatest gift of all is is of yourself!

We all love the Spirit and Santa Claus in us, and all you need do is open your heart and close your eyes, you will touch someone who is deeply hurt inside.

Those who may not remember the true story of little 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon, who is 18978 wrote to the New York Sun editor, Francis P. Church, and asked him if there was a Santa Claus? The famous editorial got worldwide press.

Here is the letter exactly as it was written more than a century ago and has been part of our Christmas lore in the United States ever since.

DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.

Some of my little 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 useable 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.

Francis P. Church's editorial, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" went on to become one of the most famous editorials ever written. It first appeared in the New York Sun in 1897 and was reprinted annual until 1949, when the New York Sun went out of business.

Thirty-six years after his letter was printed, Virginia O'Hanlon recalled the events that prompted her letter.

"Quite naturally, I believed in Santa Claus, for he had never disappointed me," she said. "But when less fortunate little boys and girls said there wasn't any Santa Claus, I was filled with doubts. I asked my father and he was a little evasive on the subject.

"It was a habit in our family that whenever any doubts come up as to how to pronounce a word or some question of historical fact, we wrote to the question and answer column in the Sun. My father would always say "If you see it in the Sun, it's so, and that settled the matter."

Well, I'm just going to write the Sun and find out the real truth, I said to my father. He said go ahead, Virginia, I am sure the Sun will give you the right answer and it always does."

So Virginia wrote to her parents' favorite newspaper.

Francis P. Church married shortly after the letter appeared in the newspaper and died shortly thereafter, in 1906, leaving no children.

Virginia O'Hanlon went on to graduate school from Hunter's College with a master's from Columbia and in 1912 began teaching in New York City. After 47 years she retired as an educator. Virginia died on May 13, 1971 at the age of 81 in a nursing home in Valatie, N.Y. She is buried at the Chatham Rural Cemetery in Chatham, N.Y.

On February 21, 2001, on the history channel, the story of Virginia was told and it noted that she gave the original letter to a granddaughter, who pasted it in a scrapbook. It was feared that the letter was destroyed in a house fire, but 30 years after the fire, it was discovered intact.

The original letter appeared and was authenticated by an appraiser on the PBS Antiques Roadshow in 1998 and was valued at approximately $50,000.

Until next time, ciao.

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