Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

“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. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. 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 10 times 10 thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.” -Excerpt from The New York Sun editorial writer, Francis Pharcellus Church’s letter published September 21, 1897 

As a young child named Virginia, this was my favorite Christmas story! This beautiful letter from the editor of the New York Sun written to 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon may now be 115 years old, but it has certainly stood the test of time. Editorial writer Francis Church’s prediction that Santa Claus lives and will live forever is repeatedly proven in the selfless, beautiful actions of our friends and colleagues in dentistry.

We are so blessed by our wonderful dental friends!  A couple of recent examples: At this year’s Academy of Dental Management Consultants’ meeting, we learned of fellow member Charlotte Chartier’s organization Allana Smiles founded to alert dentists to the unique dental needs of cancer patients before, during, and after chemotherapy. Today, I read a post on my Facebook about Dr. Ben Burris and his Pro Ortho For Kids initiative. Many of you may know Dr. Burris as the founder of the first chapter of Smile for a Lifetime back in 2008. Who do you know doing great work to benefit our children and our world? How can we contribute and spread the word?

At this very special time of year… and especially this year, in light of recent events, let’s celebrate all the good work being done to love and care for our children in our own communities and around the world. “The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see” …but we can certainly shine the spotlight on these organizations of love and on these folks on who inspire us to contribute and pay it forward. Please share the modern-day Santa Claus in your life.