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Happy Holidays Everyone


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"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 still continue to make glad the heart of childhood." Today's readers grow quickly impatient , intolerant to exasperation, with such prose; thus the baby is thrown out with the bath water; Church's important message torpedoed by his over ripe words and the period style our 19th century ancestors found so arresting, dedicated as they were to the bombastic, sonorous and grandiloquent. This will never do

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Happy Holidays Everyone

  2. 2. Preface / Introduction@~~~>The LAST Time I Made This OFFER I was BURIED in calls so I am limiting this to theNEXT 4 PEOPLE ONLY CALL ME NOW - dont miss out! CALL ME NOW for your FREEInternet marketing consultation. ($100 value) Let an expert show you RIGHT NOW how to profitonline every single day without leaving home. CALL ME -- Liz English -- NOW, (315) 668-1591.LIVE 24/7/365.
  3. 3. Table of Contents1. Yes, Virginia there still is a Santa Claus, and he needs you more than ever before.2. I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar. I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe.3. O Little Town... Christmas comes to Cambridge, Massachusetts, December 25, 2011. 12:54 a.m.20 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds W-NW 8 miles per hour.
  4. 4. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!Yes, Virginia there still is a Santa Claus, and he needs youmore than ever Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note: September 21, 1897, the editor of the New York Sun ran an unsignededitorial in the form of a letter to the editor and that editors response. The title of this article was"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", and it long ago became the worlds most reprinted article,particularly at the Christmas season.The 8-year girl who wrote the letter (and, yes, she was a real person) achieved by a simple questionan ineradicable place in history, a place any number of kings and queens, politicians and generalsmight have envied. For the question was not glib... and neither was its response.This response was written by veteran newsman Francis Pharcellus Church, and you can find thecomplete text in any search engine; the message can be read profitably by all good people thoughwell over a century has passed since it was penned.Its essential message is found in these lines: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exits ascertainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to yourlife its highest beauty and joy."Heres how this all got started.In 1897, Dr. Philip OHanlon, a coroners assistant on Manhattans Upper West Side, was asked byhis daughter Virginia (1889-1971) whether Santa Claus really existed. He paused for just a moment,as if he were considering the matter for the first time. Then, he advised her to write to The Sun, aprominent New York City newspaper. "If you see it in The Sun," he assured her, "its so." Thus heunwittingly provided Francis Pharcellus Church an opportunity to rise above the simple question andaddress the philosophical issues behind it.Church was a war correspondent during the American Civil War, the bloodiest war to date; onewhich caused doubt, disillusion, despair. Many wrote off the noble experiment of the Great Republicas a failure; hope was in short supply. Church was given a once- in-a-lifetime opportunity to combatthis negativity... to reassure his fellow countrymen and remind them of all the good things that theyhad... if only they would scrutinize carefully, perceive what they saw, and remind themselves of theverities on which the Great Republic was founded and which are available to every citizen. SantaClaus became his apt metaphor.Grand thoughts, fustian idiom.Church was a mid-Victorian... which meant, by our leaner, sharper standards, that he was verbose,his prose not merely purple, but cloying, lush, overwritten, prolix. His final paragraph makes all thisvery clear:"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 still continue to make glad the heart ofchildhood." Todays readers grow quickly impatient , intolerant to exasperation, with such prose;thus the baby is thrown out with the bath water; Churchs important message torpedoed by his overripe words and the period style our 19th century ancestors found so arresting, dedicated as they wereto the bombastic, sonorous and grandiloquent. This will never do.Thus since Church is no longer here to update his work, I appoint myself to do so, not to reinvent thewheel but to show what an author of our time can do to keep his message relevant and evergreen, Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 4 of 13
  5. 5. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!important, not dismissed as old hat, the histrionic rhetoric of the Gilded Age. I hope Church smilesbenignly on this attempt, for he was a man whose respect was worth having.Virginias letter to me, December 11, 2011.Dear Dr. Lant,I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, If you see it in Dr.Lants articles, its so". Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?Virginia OHanlon 115 West Ninety-Fifth St.My response to Virginia, December 12, 2011.Dear Virginia,First of all let me thank you most sincerely for taking the time to write to me and for your confidencein me and my articles. Smart readers like you, young and old, are what keeps me on my toes, and Iaccount you not only a reader, but a young friend.I can tell you are troubled by what your friends are saying. That is understandable. Many people,perhaps including some of your friends, go out of their way to hurt others by selfish, unconsidered,and hurtful remarks. I can tell right away that you are not such a person, and that is good newsindeed and why I have answered you so promptly.Being the smart and sensitive young lady you are, I know you are not only thoughtful about whatyou say and how you say it, but take what people say, unless you are sure of them, with a grain ofsalt; in other words you dont believe everything you hear and read... instead you use your own mindto evaluate. That is always the best way and is what we like so much in our Great Republic, in otherwords our citizens rely on their own judgement. As you will when you finish this letter and considerwhat I have confided to you. Lets consider for a moment the people, and sadly there are many such,children and adults, too, who tell everyone Santa Claus doesnt exist. They point to the turbulentstate of the world... wars in far away places we never heard of... people, good people too, withoutshelter or food... all the people who are ill and have no money for treatment, including children yourage, even some in your very neighborhood. They say, and they are very loud about telling peoplelike you, that this is proof positive that there is not now nor has there ever been a person calledSanta Claus.And now, as the friend you wrote to seeking truth and reassurance, I tell you that these people, eachand every one of them, are wrong, wrong, wrong. And now I tell you why... because Santa Claus isthe embodiment of every good thought, every good deed, every good wish and every good action nomatter by whom, where, or when. Santa Claus represents the sum total of everything good in thisoften turbulent, unhappy, despairing world of ours. Santa Claus takes all good elements and putsthem to work combating the bad and working tirelessly for the good -- for the improvement ofhuman kind and everyone in it, even those poor souls who say he doesnt exist and wont help him inhis tireless ways.I know, dear Virginia, that you want to help Santa Claus in his great and important work, becauseyou are a dear girl who cares for others and who wishes to help Santa do that, which is much morethan just delivering Christmas presents down chimneys and taking care of his flying reindeer.You see, Virginia, Santa Claus represents the best in all of us, and he knows that working togetherwe make the world, every day, a better place, a place of good substance and good cheer for all.Today, now that you are sure of the existence of Santa Claus and his good works, I urge you to joinhis team. Do a little good today, Virginia, and not just at Christmas, but every day you want the Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 5 of 13
  6. 6. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!world to be better... and help the Jolly Old Elf for he relies so on sweet children like you... and even"seen everything" commentators like me. We are all so grateful to you, Miss Virginia, and your kindnature, which prompted your concern and letter.Merry Christmas from me and from all of us at Worldprofit, where the Christmas spirit is not thething of a day, but of every day. It is my pleasure to thank you for giving me the much neededopportunity to say so and to recommit my own energy and zeal... and may God and Santa Clausbless you as you truly deserve.**** What do you think? Let us know by posting your comments below. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 6 of 13
  7. 7. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar. I sure do likethose Christmas cookies, Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. Ive got this day all planned. First, Ill finish this article and get it out to theawaiting world; then Ill finish my Christmas shopping. Ive been well organized about it. So far, sogood; even the help at the other end of the telephone line, the people who take the orders, seembetter and friendlier this year. Maybe theyre glad to have a job, even a seasonal one, with so manyunemployed and likely to remain so.Ive got an objective that keeps me focused today... and that objective is to help myself to somegood old, home-baked Christmas cookies... and not just one or two either. Diabetes be damned;Christmas and its cookies come but once a year.... and tonight Ill translate that into some seriousmunching.One guy you may know wholl be helping me get in the mood is George Strait. Hes called the "Kingof Country," his brand of music a toe-tapping mixture of western swing, bar-room ballads,honky-tonk style and fresh yet traditional Country. He seems a genuinely nice fellow, the kind ofman who in real life would give you a big smile, a strong hand shake, and a tip of his over sizedcowboy hat. Under the right circumstances, I could be persuaded to give him one of my Christmascookies... but not more, no matter how nice he is.In 1999 Strait recorded a peppy little number by Aaron Barker called "Christmas Cookies." Its gotthe necessary "gosh, maam" twang factor and an infectious beat thatll follow you around the houselike your favorite dawg, "I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar." The tune is about how hewolfs them down before his sugar babe even finishes the sprinkles and the icing.... his good womanoutwardly chiding, but inwardly glad she has this big overgrown boy around the house; women likea little boy in their man... at Christmas and watching them down those cookies at record speedconstitutes proof positive that shes got one. "Ah, shucks, babe, I didnt mean to eat them all.... butthey were so good I couldnt help myself". What woman, and especially at Christmas, could takeoffense at that?"No cookies, no Christmas.Christmas for me means many, many things. Of the school pageant where my Midwestern schoolfellows shuffled through the first Noel all gawky embarrassment and barely suppressed giggles.Of the all important trip to the car lot where one of those trees was ours... and no matter that it wasntquite symmetrical and never, ever of decorator quality. Our trees were mauled by love and had,from the very first moment, a family look... that became pure Currier and Ives when we tossed onthe tinsel; (we were too impatient to put it on piece by piece; clumps were more our style). Andwhen my father put the star on the top of the tree (and it was always the job of my father to do so),we all agreed, with our dog Missy reaffirming with her strident barks and capers, that this was thebest tree yet. And so it was... every single year.Christmas was all about tradition... and no one was more traditional than the three children in ourhome.... and woe if such and such a thing done a certain way the year before should, by anunthinking adult, be done differently this year. It was done that way before; it must be done thatway now. This adamancy makes me smile when I think of it now. No army officer of ancientregiment could have been more devoted to the old ways and true than we were.And this, of course, is where Christmas cookies come in. We were most dedicated to and unyielding Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 7 of 13
  8. 8. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!about them, and not just because we always had the best cookies in the world baking in whos everkitchen we found ourselves. Quite simply, certain cookies with their unmistakable contours, tastes,and looks meant Christmas, and there would have been no Christmas at all without them.The minute Thanksgiving was over...I was born in Illinois in 1947, in February, so I was almost a year old when my first Christmas camealong. There were just three of us for that first Christmas, two young parents in their mid-twenties...and me, the apple of every eye with consequences still playing themselves out over 60 years later.The first cookie story I remember is so good I have to insert it here... even though its not aboutChristmas, but says everything about my mother and her unceasing concern about my welfare andplace in the world.When I was about three or four POM (Poor Old Mother) was so anxious that I have lots of friendsand assured position at our neighborhood park, that she sent me into that park alone (whilst shewatched anxiously from a distance), a backpack strapped to me and a big package of Oreo cookiesfilling that pack. So accoutered I became the bait that would ensure my popularity and socialadvance. There was a certain crazy logic to the scheme... and whilst I do not remember the incidentitself, POM told me years later, I was mobbed by moppets who were not about to turn down freecookies, whatever the strings attached. And so my charismatic career was well and truly launched...... thus was the importance of cookies made clear... so much so, that I can never recall even a shortperiod of my life when I was cookie-less, and certainly never at Christmas.KlotschkisMy grandmother was of English descent; my grandfathers was German. Yet neither English norGerman cookies were favorites. That was the klotschkis which truly symbolized the holidays.Needless to say as a boy I cared nothing for the proper description, where it came from, even howthey were made. I was simply mad for this one cookie, the cookie we only got at Christmas and atewildly, regardless of its astronomic sugar content and stratospheric calories. And I was not alone inthis. Klotschkis were everybodys favorite... and so my English-born grandmother bearing the nameof the great queen who died the year she was born, was kept baking what we all craved... and knewtoo well would be gone soon, severely to test our patience before returning.This year thanks to Sharon Oshatz and fast Internet searches, I got the low-down on the klotschkis,everything but the taste; that I had never forgotten and needed absolutely no assistance to recall.Klotschkis are simple Polish butter cookies festooned by various jams... particularly strawberry, andthe ones I remember best... apricot and prune. My grandmother always finished them with whiteconfectioners sugar. She knew the importance of tradition, particularly but not exclusively to heryoungest relations; she never tampered with what she knew we wanted, expected, and would havebeen disappointed, dismayed and distraught had even the smallest particular concerning thesecookies been neglected or overlooked. And in her kitchen they never were. Though common sensewas.The problem with traditions is that they all have the feeling of forever about them; that what onecelebrates today will necessarily be here to be celebrated tomorrow. Nothing could be less true... forevery tradition (like everything in the human condition) is doomed to fade, become uncertain andinaccurate, and pass on; and we humans are careless about such matters. We believe in "forever";when we should be working instead to ensure that forever, by working hard to avoid forgetfulnessand oblivion. And as a species we are just horrid at this.Thus, in this year of our Lord 2011, I shall not have the joy of klotschkis, either the memory or therichness of flavor. My grandmother Victoria, as stolid and certain as Queen Victoria herself, would Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 8 of 13
  9. 9. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!never be anything but forever; thats the way we acted... only to be upended by the predictable deaththat turns "forever" into a macabre joke. No recipe written; no recipe transmitted to her daughters,then to me and mine. If only she had said such and such amount of butter, so many dozens of eggs,blended in a bowl and baked for so many minutes. For without these simple directions, this cookie,made magic by Grammie, becomes the task of historians and archeologists.Still this evening I shall do my best to recreate perfection, recipe in hand, high standard daunting butnot inhibiting. For I was there to sample this perfection in the first place... and I must try to recaptureit before I, too, cannot do so. I owe it to Grammie... my mother and siblings et al. And I owe it tomyself, too, because you see"I sure do like those Christmas cookies, sugar I sure do like those Christmas cookies, babe."Dedicated to Sharon Oshatz, colleague, friend, cook, on the occasion of her birthday. I didnt askhow many, because I know shes just getting better and especially appreciate the help shes given tomake me better, too. Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 9 of 13
  10. 10. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!O Little Town... Christmas comes to Cambridge,Massachusetts, December 25, 2011. 12:54 a.m. 20 degreesFahrenheit. Winds W-NW 8 miles per Dr. Jeffrey LantAuthors program note. Before I left on my Christmas walk-about at not quite 1 a.m. Eastern today, Iturned on every light in my brilliantly lit house. On the lights in the hallway thereby exposing inradiance the wistful picture of a young 18th century prince of the House of Brunswick-Luneberg.Dead too soon, not even 20, he craves all the light I can give him, and that is much.On the lights, all the lights in the Red Drawing Room, on the lights, all the lights in the Green Room,on the lights, all the lights in the Blue Room from where I am writing you now, where the chandelierthrows out over 10,000 facets of light. So the seller told me; I have long since given up countingthem... but their colors entrance while its welcome heat warms me...What kind of mania is this that demands every light lit, every treasure burnished, everything bold,audacious, polished, warm and, to my uttermost ability, welcome?Just this: It is Christmas Day, this very day, this day of days, to come but once and go... and I amalive, ready, eager to take myself from here and see how this 2,011th Christmas is evolving frommy vantage point in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I command all this light, first, to celebrate theadvent of this day and its great meaning, that on this very day, over two thousand years ago thePrince of Heaven was born, a boon to mankind, our sustaining hope unto the ages. And I want Himto know that He is welcome here... and always has been, though often I did not know or show it...And, too, there must be light, an explosion of light, to welcome me home, for I mean to go out andsee for myself how this Holy Night is faring and what my neighbors may be doing.Red hat, white fur, my lassez passer.This is my 63rd Christmas; the year when my many friends worldwide, of so many climes andcountries, offer their advice freely before I venture out into the dark and cold. "Bundle up," saysMark Anderson. "Remember to cover your ears," proffers Dale Thomson. "Dont stay out too long,"offers David Mobile. Such words, each one on any other day lese majeste, convey care and love...and make me smile. A man like me knows well the warmth of such words and how to conjure them;they cheer the heart such as no fire can. Age hath its wisdoms and privileges; no one knows thatbetter than I do, and I crave them as surely as air or sun; and get them, too.And so I put on the foolish Santa hat I was given by a young friend who looked raffish when hewore it, whereas I look just silly... but I know that wearing it out this night of all nights, will safelymark me as harmless, eccentric, a man who has imbibed too much of the grape, erroneousconclusions to be sure, but useful when a man leaves his cozy house at midnight, and warm bed, too,to venture out into the piercing cold of a Bay State Christmas in pursuit of... but you must come outof your snug world and along with me to see.Presents for me...In the lobby of my building where I am now, I think, the senior resident or close to it, I see twoboxes for me. These neat parcels, festooned by words like FedEx and UPS and the numericmysteries of their tracking systems, firmly establish me as a card-carrying person of the middleclasses and of means; poor people shop at stores and carry home their packages, often on buses andlate-running subways. Mine ascend by elevators and are given by delivery men, exceptionally polite Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 10 of 13
  11. 11. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!at this time of year, who say things like "Something else for you, Dr. Lant. Somebody loves you..."But I have no time for such packages now... I have a mission.Cold air, colder Puritan.The cold of midnight is piercing but by no means the worst I have felt; the Internet weather report(the only place I go for weather intelligence anymore) says the wind chill factor is 10 degreesFahrenheit. I feel superior to that, and further plunges, too. I am glad to take it, and to know I canstill take worse; more evidence of my evergreen condition; of increasing importance as I get older...The Cambridge Common, where by ancient law and privilege I could graze my cows (should I getsome), is vacant tonight... but the statue of John Bridge continues its austere duty, scrutinizing thelives of Cantabridgians, ensuring not that we are as worthy as he (for that is impossible) but that wedo not stray too far from his noble example.Bridge was a Puritan, a man of God and Gods affairs and ran these, no doubt to Gods satisfaction,for Bridges all-worthy career prospered in mid-17th century Cambridge. Such men, the very fibre ofmoral rectitude and self-assurance (my ancestors, too, for the nonce) made a point of destroying theolde English Christmas of "God rest ye merry gentlemen." Bridge would no doubt have disapprovedthe frivolity of my chapeau... and so I walked on, glad he was not coming to disdain my liberatedChristmas.The artistry of ice.Burdened by winter as I often am here, captive of the chill Atlantic and its perishing cold, I moreoften avoid the ice than consider it. Tonight I rectified this error and stopped to scrutinize therandom beauty of ice, frigid patterns that turned yesterdays puddles into tonights etched allure. It isbeautiful, the kind of sharp avant garde pattern in black and silver a stylish billionaire might use todazzle every penthouse guest; here this transient beauty goes unremarked by all but me.There is livelier fare across the street, when seven squad cars spurt police, busily at work at the maingate of Harvard College, just opened days ago from the thrall of the hapless revolutionaries whoOccupied Harvard, but not effectively or for very long. The police are out in force, a tow-truck at theready, a fellow human being in their arms, his Christmas and destiny to be paid out in hospital or jailcell.I look instead at the statue of Senator Charles Sumner (1811-1874), a man of such austerity andrespectability that when he escorted Mary Todd Lincoln there was no touch of scandal at all, thoughhe was reckoned the most handsome man at Harvard and in Civil War Washington. I often wonderwhether the burden of such rectitude made him happy. Certainly his statue does not show it. He wascold in life, and perhaps the coldness of this statue is its truest aspect.I prefer to spend my Christmas night with another Harvard man, the Reverend Phillips Brooks(1835-1893). He is memorialized in Harvard Yard, but not in copper and stone. His is a memorial ofpeople, for the people who admired and loved him created in 1904 Phillips Brooks HouseAssociation, a student-run, community-based non-profit public service organization whose missionis the true meaning of this holiday, to give and give until it truly helps and makes a difference.Brooks took the fine tune by organist Lewis Redner and graced it in 1868 with the words we know as"O Little Town of Bethlehem" and whose words are my prayer for us all this day, and every day."O holy Child of Bethlehem Descend to us we pray... O come to us, abide with us Our LordEmmanuel."(Concluded and sent to the world as the authors gift, 5:05 a.m., Christmas Day, 2011). Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 11 of 13
  12. 12. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE! Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 12 of 13
  13. 13. HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!ResourceAbout the Author Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of Worldprofit, Inc., providing a widerange of online services for small and-home based businesses. Services include home businesstraining, affiliate marketing training, earn-at-home programs, traffic tools, advertising, webcasting,hosting, design, WordPress Blogs and more. Find out why Worldprofit is considered the # 1 onlineHome Business Training program by getting a free Associate Membership today.Republished with authors permission by Elizabeth English Copyright Elizabeth English - 2012 13 of 13