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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Sunday, December 22 2002

"Yes, Virginia..."

For my sisters and me, while growing up, Santa Claus was not a part of our Christmas. Mom and Dad always made certain that we understood that Christmas was Christ's birthday and we celebrated it by giving gifts to our friends and relatives to emulate, in a small way, the gift that Christ gave on the Cross. With each gift given, we give part of ourselves.

Pat and I never had children, so we didn't have to make a decision on whether to make Santa Claus part of Christmas. However, after four years of marriage, we became foster parents and then we had to decide our position on whether to make Santa part of our Christmas. It became very interesting with our first foster child. She was 13 but had the maturity of a 6 or 7 year-old. She would declare very forcefully that she did not believe in Santa Claus. She would then break into a smile and her eyes would twinkle mischievously. It was soon obvious that she really did believe, but answered in the negative because other 13-year-olds didn't believe in Santa. She came to us on December 3 so her first test came quickly.

On Christmas Eve, we sent her up to bed early so Pat and I could set the presents out and have some time alone. We finally went to bed at 11:30. Shortly after midnight we woke, not to prancing hoofs on our rooftop, but to a child running back through the hall to our bedroom shouting, "He came. Santa Claus was here. He left presents under the tree." We told her that she had better go back to bed or Santa may take the presents back. Pat made sure she was tucked under the covers, then returned to bed. When I came out Christmas morning, our foster daughter was sleeping on the couch by the Christmas tree. It was obvious that she had been there all night, guarding the presents.

Since then, we have had several dozen foster children and for the most part they all have had the same philosophy. They would tell us that they didn't believe in Santa Claus but in reality they did. Just this past week our foster sons told us that they didn't believe in Santa Claus. I shocked them both by declaring that I did believe in Santa Claus. I then told them about the editorial, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus," written by Francis P. Church for the New York Sun in 1897. Mr. Church, in answering 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon's question about the existence of Santa Claus, gave credence to the myth of Santa Claus as the epitome of love, faith, and giving, the true gifts of Christmas.

History as seen by sixth graders

Insight into the minds of sixth graders: The following were answers provided by sixth graders during a history test. Watch the spelling! Some of the best humor is in the misspelling.

11. Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

12. The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare. He was born in the year 1564, supposedly on his birthday. He never made much money and is famous only because of his plays. He wrote tragedies, comedies, and hysterectomies, all in Islamic pentameter. Romeo and Juliet are an example of a heroic couple. Romeo's last wish was to be laid by Juliet.

13. Writing at the same time as Shakespeare was Miguel Cervantes. He wrote Donkey Hote. The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

14. Delegates from the original 13 states formed the Contented Congress. Thomas Jefferson, a Virgin, and Benjamin Franklin were two singers of the Declaration of Independence. Franklin discovered electricity by rubbing two cats backward and declared, "A horse divided against itself cannot stand." Franklin died in 1790 and is still dead.

15. Abraham Lincoln became America's greatest Precedent. Lincoln's mother died in infancy, and he was born in a log cabin which he built with his own hands. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves by signing the Emasculation Proclamation. On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat by one of the actors in a moving picture show. They believe the assinator was John Wilkes Booth, a supposedly insane actor. This ruined Booth's career.

—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for the day

Faith is reason grown courageous.

—Sherwood Eddy, evangelist (1871-1963)
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