Do we still believe in the magic of Christmas?


You see it in a child’s eyes lighting up as they stare at a Christmas tree. You feel it as Mariah Carey belts out “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” It’s believing our savior was born in a manger. Christmas is the time of year when excitement fills the air and there appears to be hope in the magic of believing.

Skepticism over the “magic” of the holiday has always existed, however the spirit of the season is ever present within the Jesuit High School community and beyond.

“It is filled with hope. While any power tool I may get at Christmas is the coolest, if we could be assured of peace, compassion, and hope, then Christmas would last longer than the first worn out battery or broken something. It is the unseen that gives us the glimpse of magic.” Campus Minister, Don Clarke, describes the magic of Christmas.

Intangible feelings surrounding this holiday provide the magic. Many recognize that the magic comes from what you cannot see or touch.

“Believing without seeing is the magic of Christmas,” Luke Stream ‘18 says.

“[Christmas is] a time that makes you feel warm and excited. You are surrounded by all things Christmas, and all your worries and stress turn into hot cocoa and candy canes,” Sophomore Ella Nelson says. The holiday season provides a comforting feeling to students and often creates emotions unparalleled by anything else.

Despite the emphasis on believing, we sometimes shift away from the true meaning of Christmas. Our celebration of the holiday has switched from a quiet childlike approach to a time when materialism haunts the country. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have changed the season of giving into the season of buying. We ask ourselves, does this so called “magic” really still exist. This question has haunted people for centuries.

In 1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote to the editor of the New York Sun asking: “Is there a Santa Claus?”

In the editor’s response he affirms every child’s desire to believe and have hope in a world where something greater than humans might exist. The response shows there is magic in the world for those who are willing to believe. This story has remained one of the most published editorials of all time.

The editor’s answer to her simple question provides us with hope, and inspires us to have faith in faith. Parts of the editorial can be found below:

“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 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 get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you 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 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, 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 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.(