The certainty of Santa Claus

Today, I saw a television advertisement that quoted the famous New York Sun editorial by Francis Pharcellis Church:

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.  He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.”

It really is a beautiful sentiment, and I can absolutely understand why more than 100 years later it’s still well known.  I think what I like most about it is the way it has adapted to the times.  In 1897, a little girl doubted Santa Claus, and a clever editor with an absurd and ridiculous middle name showed that Santa exists alongside such obvious, prevalent qualities as love, generosity, and devotion.

Now, in 2009, I find this passage comforting for a similar reason.  I am not, in these rather cheerless and cynical times, at all convinced of the existence of love, generosity, and devotion.  After all, I watch the news.

But, I am nonetheless certain that love, generosity, and devotion remain in this world, because those rare things exist as long as there is a Santa Claus, and I am damned sure Santa exists.  He’s already out there, in early November, tirelessly ringing his bell and asking people to drop money into that giant empty gumball-machine thing with a slot in the top.  I know he exists because all the shopping malls have schedules up for his visits.  I know he exists because he’s all over the television selling me wonderful things.  I know he exists, because I can buy his celebrated DVD releases, I Saw Mommy F**king Santa Claus and Pimp Santa and the Ho-Ho-Ho’s.

It can seem that the qualities we used to cherish are fading, or gone.  But, it’s comforting to know that love, generosity, and devotion will never pass from the world so long as Santa Claus remains.  Through his resolute and intractable existence, Santa holds a firm grip on the values of our modern, enlightened society.  The debt that we owe him for this is truly inexpressible.

Although, sometimes I wonder how just one guy manages to do so much stuff.  I figure that anyone who can visit every home in the Christian-god-fearing western world in just one night can find the time for TV ads, mall appearances, and some charity bell-ringing.  And, he probably does the porn during the off-season.

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