“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.” (Francis Pharcellus Church)
The above quote from an editorial posted in response to a little girl who wrote the New York Sun in 1897 inquiring as to the existence of Santa Claus takes a positive and eloquent position on the controversy of whether or not the Santa Claus myth should be perpetuated.
Opinions vary on the subject. Those who believe that the Santa myth should not be perpetuated in children believe that the tradition is secular rather than religious. They also object to the necessity of telling a lie to perpetuate the myth. They also believe that the myth contributes to increased commercialization of Christmas.
Those who support perpetuating the Santa myth believe that such myths can transmit shared values and traditions from one generation to the next. Supporters believe that myths, such as the Santa myth, can relate moral messages, just as Aesop's fables have done. Such supporters of perpetuating the Santa myth see value in sparking children’s imagination and see no harm in such a myth.