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Rockwall Mayor’s Message: Treasure the magic and joy of Christmas

Rockwall Mayor David Sweet

ROCKWALL (December 25, 2013) ‘Tis the season to celebrate with our family and friends, to remember our many blessings and to be truly thankful for the birth of our Savior.

I love Christmas. You can almost feel the magic and see the joy. It’s a time for reflection and celebration, a time to come together as a family and as a community.

Our city had a great 2013 – and we expect 2014 to be even better – but more about that next month.

At Christmas, I am reminded of that classic letter written by eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon to the editor of the New York Sun and the response by veteran newsmanFrancisPharcellusChurch. It was printed Sept. 21, 1897, and remains history’s most reprinted newspaper editorial.Virginia wrote:

DEAR EDITOR:

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, “If you see it in the Sun it’s so.”

Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?

In Pharcellus’ response, he tellsVirginiaher friends were wrong, that they were affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age and that they “do not believe except what they see.”

He goes on to write, “Yes,VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist…Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were noVirginias…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!…Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus…Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world…”

“No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now,Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

For me, that captures the true wonderment of Christmas.

Time is a one of the greatest gifts, especially during the holidays, so please take a little and read Pharcellus’ entire editorial – then read to your family The Night before Christmas and watch the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. I guarantee you will catch the miraculous spirit of Christmas. A cup of hot chocolate, a roaring fire in the fireplace and a twinkling Christmas tree is the perfect setting for that!

While shopping Rockwall for all your holiday needs (thereby keeping your tax dollars at home), please consider our local charitable organizations and their holiday requests. Remember, material things come and go, but our family, friends and community are most important.

My Christmas wishes are that special memories you make this Christmas become your cherished memories of tomorrow and that our hometown will continue to be a safe and welcoming harbor.

Be grateful, be kind to one another, give your kids extra hugs and please remember the less fortunate in our community. Merry Christmas to all!

By Rockwall Mayor David Sweet.

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