I was ten years old when I saw “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus”, around a quarter of a century ago, and I never forgot it. I’m not even sure if it’s a Hallmark movie (if it is, I can say, “They sure don’t make ’em like they use to”). That said, for some reason, I never believed in Santa Claus (my parents tried, but I was like little Susan Walker on “Miracle on 34th Street”); I don’t know why that was–I suppose, being a very imaginative child, I thought everything that wasn’t Biblical or historical was simply a story, and that it was fun to pretend.
For years, I’ve tried to find a copy of “Virginia”, to no avail. Yesterday, I looked it up on YouTube, and there it was. I caught many things as an adult that I did not as a child, such as how all the immigrants (from different countries, no less) looked out for each other. It made me think of when my mom was in the military overseas and all the Americans were close-knit (so different than in the States).
I used to think I wanted to be a reporter (even though I was terribly shy, having not matured into an introvert yet), but I decided I wanted to write stories where I wouldn’t have to depend upon other people to provide the information. I also wanted to write stories that would be remembered. This was further confirmed when my English Comp II professor said, “Most people can name at least one book that’s changed their life, but not a newspaper article.” When Franklin P. Church (the man who answers Virginia O’Hanlon’s question about whether or not there is a Santa Claus) says no one remembers a news story after 24 hours, I agreed. It’s why I’m not majoring in journalism–because I want what I write to stand the test of time (though journalism can be a much more exciting and lucrative career).
When I read a biography of Aimee Semple McPherson (female evangelist who founded The Church of the Foursquare Gospel), it changed my mind on women pastors. When I read D. James Kennedy’s, “What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?”, it opened my eyes to how the gospel of Jesus Christ not only affected those who chose Him, but also bettered the lives of those who did not who lived with those who had. When I read “The Happy Room” by Catherine Palmer, it showed how Christians sometimes neglect their children in the name of being “called” to do missionary work, for what profits a person to save a village, but lose their own children? “Many Moons” by James Thurber showed that children have simple wisdom. Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” showed that the Christmas spirit cannot be found in a store, but comes from within.
I’d love to write such a book, but perhaps, I will someday write such a story (or editorial) like Franklin P. Church’s, even though newspapers are dying as blogs are being born. Perhaps I will even write that story somewhere online, for words on a screen can be just as powerful as on paper (once they’re internalized) and they will live on in cyberspace, long after my soul has returned to the firmament.
The editorial: http://www.nysun.com/editorials/yes-virginia/68502/
What is your story?