John R. Hall
Little Ricky / John R. Hall

As the end of the year nears, with children beside themselves in anticipation of a visit from Santa Claus, Hunting For would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a healthy, happy holiday season: Merry Christmas! May it be surrounded by family and friends.

For those who have arrived at a bah humbug existence in life, may we suggest that the study of children be a focal point. For in them the magic of Christmas lives. That magic lives within us too. It has survived; it is within reach. For many, the magic seems to be out of reach, as if it had been beaten down into some deep dark dungeon.

Is it so easy, absolutely simplistic, to adopt the persona of a Grinch. One need not look far to be disenchanted, to be repulsed by the capitalism, greed and corruption of our children’s sacred holiday. Yes, that’s easy to do; anyone can do that. Likewise, it only takes a tad bit of effort to open the dungeon door and be held captivate by the sheer joy and exuberance which abounds us right now. It can be found in the eyes and minds and hearts of children—children of all ages!

Hunting For has one singular hope for this holiday season: that somehow, the child buried within each of us is given a furlough, and we find joy, and that happiness is allowed to permeate our lives, and all whom we encounter.

It’s been said that there are no atheists in a battlefield foxhole or on a plane that is going down. The same is true when considering Santa Claus. His existence is unquestionable when looking into the eyes of children, because while looking into their eyes, it is impossible to proclaim that Santa Claus is a hoax.

We offer the following as our Christmas present to our readership:

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, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except 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 unseeable 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.

(By Francis Pharcellus Church; editorial appeared in the September 21, 1897, edition of “The (New York) Sun” and has since become part of popular Christmas folklore in the United States. It is the most reprinted editorial in any English-language newspaper.)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year….

We will be back Tuesday, December 27th, 2016.

Copyright © 2016 – Hunting For Thompson – All Rights Reserved


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John has been described as a contrarian, a provocateur, and a polemicist. With the dexterity of a master magician, John's writing style forces readers to reexamine their positions and opinions on society, politics, and lifestyles. In his book, Red, White, and the Blues: A Long and Hard Ride over Treacherous Terrain, John interweaves a narrative of a life lived in constant motion while taking the reader along on his 2011 coast-to-coast motorcycle ride across the 48 contiguous states.