Hello Fellow Rotarians,
I hope you had a festive Diwali and Thanksgiving. I was very thankful to be sitting with my parents, mother-in-law, wife, daughters, and grandkids. We all had a great time.
December is here – the final month of the calendar year. It’s our last chance to get on the “Nice” list if you know what I mean. Christmas time is one of the most enjoyable times of year for me. It’s a time where we truly celebrate the past with family traditions, to celebrate the future with a toast to a Happy New Year, and where we show our appreciation for one another. It’s the season when Santa Claus makes his appearance to all that believe. Do you hear the bell? I most definitely do. Yes, I’m a believer. I don’t get how someone cannot be a believer. Let me explain. Have you ever donated a toy at a toy drive? Have you ever helped sort toys to be delivered to children with needs? Have you ever bought toys for a child you didn’t know because you pick their name? If you have, then you should be a believer too. To that child and family they don’t know where that toy came from. To them, it was Santa Claus. His spirit of joy and appreciation lives in us. It is up to us to utilize this great gift and share the Santa spirit in making a difference.
I would like to share with you a newspaper article that I love, where I’m reminded of the Santa Claus spirit. It is here for your enjoyment.
New York Sun of Sept. 21, 1897
I am eight 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
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 exists, 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 external 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 as well get your papa to hire men to watch 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 that are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby’s rattle to see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, not even the united strength of all the strongest man that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love and romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural 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 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
– Francis Pharcellus Church
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.