Editorial – Helping Santa collect wishes

Published 8:26 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

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The News-Herald has been pleased to carry on an annual tradition that has special meaning to many of our readers — printing Suffolk children’s letters to Santa Claus.

Ever since an editor at The (New York) Sun penned the most popular editorial of all time, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” in 1897, newspapers and Father Christmas have been indelibly linked.

The opinion piece, the most reprinted editorial in the English language, was written in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon inquiring about Santa Claus’ existence after hearing from her friends that he wasn’t real.

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“Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun it’s so,’” she famously wrote.

Perhaps it’s their brutal honesty, hilarious requests or the simple fact that reading their letters takes us back to our own childhoods, but of the thousands of pages of content we publish each year, the letters in our Santa Letter section seemingly outshine them all when it comes to community goodwill. We believe it’s a good way to wrap up the year on a positive note.

We are proud of this annual staple of the season that you can return to with your kids when they are grown and have small letter-writers of your own. It is a perfect way to make a memento you can hold onto forever.

We’ve put the call out to all the schools, so some of your kids may have already been writing — and dreaming — away. Teachers should get us their students’ letters no later than noon Tuesday, Dec. 6. Letters should be submitted to the child’s teacher, as all letters are handed through local schools for delivery to the newspaper. Students in preschool, kindergarten and first and second grades in both public and private schools are encouraged to share their wishes for this year’s letters to Santa.

Important note to both young and old: We make sure that every letter we receive before the deadline is transcribed before we responsibly forward them to the North Pole to the Jolly Old Elf himself.

This year the annual Christmas Greetings special section will be published in the Dec. 21 edition.

It’s our way of saying Merry Christmas from Your Hometown Newspaper.