Op-Ed

Believe: Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

yes_virginia02NEW YORK, Dec 8, 2009 / FW/ — When I was 8, an older kid in school told me that there was no Santa Claus; that everything was just make-believe. I did not cry; I was angry!

But, instead of lashing out, I went to the library to find out the truth. My mother who was the school librarian that time (in addition to her work as a school teacher) taught me how to use the card catalog (there was no Google or Yahoo yet during those days) and told me that if I had questions, I could always consult the books.

Armed with my meager knowledge of cataloging rules and a precocious 8-year old shock in hearing that her beloved Santa was just a figment of the grown-ups imagination led me to Virginia O’Hanlon and the famous New York Sun editorial, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”.

Since then, I never stopped believing though I had grown up and been an adult for a very long time. And that is the reason why I am answering Macy’s call for the “National Believe Day”.

yes_virginia03Macy’s had declared Friday, December 11th as National Believe Day. Inspired by the New York Sun’s famous Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus editorial from 1897, National Believe Day’s purpose is to spread the season’s message of joy and kindheartedness toward others.

To celebrate the occasion, National Believe Day activities on December 11 will include:

Believe Across America – In select cities across the country, Macy’s will generate street-level excitement about National Believe Day with 19th Century newsboy street teams that will reward Believers-in-action with Macy’s Believe Bonuses ($25 Macy’s gift cards).

At all stores, customers can mail letters to Santa at Macy’s. For each letter received, Macy’s will donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation® up to $1 million.

Calling All Virginias – In honor of Virginia O’Hanlon and the famous New York Sun editorial that inspired Macy’s Believe campaign, Macy’s is inviting all Virginias to stop at the Believe Station at their local store on Dec. 11 for a special holiday gift. (Gift is a $10 Macy’s gift card. Offer runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. while supplies last.)

Yes, Virginia Animated Special Premieres on CBS – Building on the story of young Virginia O’Hanlon’s letter to the editor of the New York Sun, CBS will premiere a new original animated special called Yes, Virginia on National Believe Day, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Based on a true story, the special takes us on a charming journey about the existence of Santa Claus and the curiosity amongst believers. During the creation of Yes, Virginia, a special wish was fulfilled for 10-year-old Wish kid Taylor Hay – whose voice and likeness were captured for one of the characters.

The film stars the voices of Neil Patrick Harris, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Alfred Molina.

[MARI DAVIS]