No Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus (From The Archives)

I wrote this piece back in December of 2006 for a banana republic of a blog that loved getting itself in all sorts of trouble. We were a parody party, and we lampooned the hell out of life, liberty and the pursuit of breaking news.

Every now and then, I would take my way back machine for a ride when the news went cold. So it was one night that I took to skipping backwards in time, armed solely with my vagabond wit and a starched martini.

On this particular evening, I settled inside the year 1897, after which I got to stepping all over the words Francis Pharcellus Church once wrote. Church was an editor for The Sun, which was a big deal New York City paper back when Damon Runyon was a pup. Old Francis had no idea that a hundred and six years later some asshole was gonna spray graffiti all over his classic editorial. Don’t you just love progress?

Church’s piece was in response to eight year old Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to The Sun in which the little girl asked if Santa Claus was in fact, legit. He responded with what would become a holiday classic titled “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”.

So . . of course I had to imagine what kind of response little Virginia O’Hanlon might have gotten if she’d been born in this day and age. The results were, umm . . less romantic. 

Dear Virginia,

Your little friends are right. They are the glorious progeny of a pragmatic generation. They understand the value of status and deride the notion of some antiquated alms giver delivering unto them their precious I-Pods. They do not believe except they see. A valuable commodity in this day and age; and one I would advise you to obtain. Their minds may be small, but their ability to filter out the ridiculous notion of a jolly old man bearing gifts is commendable. Indeed, they dare not marginalize the corporate benefactors that are their parents by spewing folly about Santa.

No Virginia, there is no Santa Claus. He does not exist as certainly as faith, hope and WMDs do not exist. Alas! How dreary would the world be if there truly was a Santa Claus! His existence would rob us our autonomy; our secularly gifted right to seek truth and define our uncertain world rather than color it with vagaries. Be warned, to subscribe to such a childlike faith is dangerous, one might even say prohibitive. Its nexus is borne of classic outdated American literature and ecclesiastical dogma. We should expect no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. Leave the childlike enabling to Hollywood producers.

I urge you dear girl, do not believe in Santa Claus! Just as you do not believe in fairies or honest politicians. You might contract with a privately owned security company to verify the hard wrought, commercialized fancy of red suits and magical sleigh bells. But imagine the cost of such an endeavor. And to what end? To simply disprove what is already common knowledge? Your sole discovery will lie in the fact that chimney sweepers are vastly overpaid. You will find no sign of Santa Claus. And then you will understand that the most real things in this world are those which you can wear, play and drive. Imagine how inefficient a world it would be if we gave credence to the unseen; think of the abject ignorance which would predominate our lives if we believed in miracles rather than science.

You dissect a nursery rhyme and you can see why non-fiction sates the publishing houses bottom lines. Because there is no unseen world where fiction holds dominion. Neither the wealthiest philanthropist, nor even the bi-lateral thrust of a UN-led invasion can unearth a place that does not exist. Let the evangelists proselytize about some supernal place; let the vagabond poets abscond to their sacred patch of merry. Resist the temptation to be led to Shangri-La. Is any of it real? Um, Virginia, of course not.

No Santa Claus! Thank goodness for that! Do not fret, nothing lasts forever- except for disposable diapers and Dick Clark. This vicious rumor which has scarred so many children and resulted in an incalculable number of therapy sessions will see its end. Ten years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10 years from now, when the world becomes an uninhabitable swamp thanks to global warming, there will be no Santa to fool our hearts and remind us of our dysfunctional childhood.

76 thoughts on “No Virginia, There Is No Santa Claus (From The Archives)

  1. B,

    Vagabond wit is is putting it mildly. Spray graffiti? How do you come up with these turns of phrase?
    Virginia should thank her lucky stars she didn’t have a bah-humbug Grinch of an editor to respond to her innocent query.
    This is, of course, you doing snarky to a whole ‘nother level! And was a hoot and a half to read.
    You ain’t gonna convince me that you don’t have a little spark of sweetness tucked in there somewhere!

    Merry Christmas, Baby, Coz Santa Claus IS coming to town!!

    Mwah!
    Q

    Liked by 3 people

    • Q,

      See, it’s like this. The voices in my head compel me to keep ’em interested, so I have no choice but to listen. Those fuckers get bored so easily!
      And yes, Virginia was damn lucky she wasn’t writing that letter in the time of Drudge, because yikes! The therapy bill as per his reply would’ve taken from her Christmas stash.
      Snarky always needs another level in order to keep breathing. It’s very needy, like the writer of this piece.
      And me? Sweet? Shhhh! I don’t want that getting around. It will totally ruin my churlish reputation! 🙂

      A video! From up Canada way! Thank GOD we didn’t build that firewall Trump proposed!

      MUAH!

      B

      Liked by 3 people

      • As long as those voices keep talking – but not enough to end you up in a straight-jacket – we good. You can keep encouraging them!
        Damn lucky is putting it mildly! Poor thing…
        Well, we readers will feed the necessary oxygen to keep that snark breathing.
        K. I’ll keep that to myself. Keep up the façade…

        Fuggedagout. No Wall! No Wall! No Wall!

        MWAH!

        Liked by 2 people

        • A straitjacket ain’t gonna work . . I can’t write in one of those! Unless they make it custom. And it’s gotta be purple, like that Prince jacket.
          Virginia was blessed by the time and place she lived inside of. Harder in so many ways but a damn sight simpler where it counted most of all. We’re too smart for our own good inside this time.
          Yep! It’s all youse guyses fault! I was a choir boy singing in Mariah’s traveling band until y’all got your mitts on me! 😉
          Wait, what? The facade ain’t working? I’m sending the shit back. Get Amazon on the wire! Stat!

          No more walls. I tell you . . he should have consulted me. I would’ve told him to dig a moat. WAY cooler. Okay, I’m not helping matters . . .

          MUWAH!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I get the wit … but oh no … a thousand times no … you can’t take away Santa that easily because he is a spirit that crosses cultural boundaries in order to link all the goodness in humanity. I know “honest politicians” is a prime example of an oxymoron, but messing with Santa is like playing with matches around gasoline.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have read you for quite some time but this, I have LOVED!

    For me Santa is a notion that should be excluded. What are we teaching kids? What is this Santa business really? Believe in angels, but Santa, forget it Virginia.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love the volley between you and Dale. Like the Wimbledon of words.

    I adore old New York Newspapers, when there were so many like the Trib and the World, so mentioning the Sun made me smile. Whenever I’m downtown I visit old Newspaper Row that alas, is all gone with only a plaque in its memory no one reads. And yes, Mr. Runyon got a mention and as far as those voices that chatter in your head, all the greats had them…Poe, Vonnegut, Doctorow, James. It’s them muses that move in to amuse, as I’ve heard it said. Your love of words and writing comes out so vividly….daises sprouting through concrete. A Thin Girl’s 2 cents.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I am torn on this post. Part of me wants to lecture you for ripping out the heart of Francis Pharcellus Church’s words, but I cannot. Seriously, kids, if a jolly old man bearing gifts approaches you, run! If a body is struggling down your chimney, have a Louisville Slugger ready! If someone is laying a finger across his nose it’s a whole different kind of magic, finally, and this is for everyone, don’t sit on a stranger’s lap ever! Just don’t. So, in that regard, there is no Santa. But the tooth fairy, now that’s legit!

    BTW…Dale has you pegged, my friend! There is a spark of sweetness and a whole lot of care! You use your words to make us think, to dig deeper into our souls, and to challenge us to do better. Merry Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Merry Christmas! Best line ever: “Your sole discovery will lie in the fact that chimney sweepers are vastly overpaid”.

    Your ghost-writing about killing off the belief of a jolly old ghost in a red suit was brilliant.

    But wait there’s more. Then the comments, the Wimbledon between you and Dale, and the sacred defense of Santa with Frank. Well, it’s all just lovely.

    Cheers to the best WMDs and makers of miracles – our words. Your use of them continues to make the world a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

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