Dear Business Partners, Dear Friends,

As is our custom each year, at the beginning of January we sent all our clients, suppliers and friends digital New Year’s greetings with a short video reviewing the past year as well as offering a glimpse of our plans for 2020. As we always do. We hadn’t a clue that two months later nothing would be “as we always do.” Still, there are a couple of things that haven’t changed at all – our principles and our confidence and drive to shape 2020, nonetheless. But more about that in January.

Another annual custom takes place in September as we contemplate the shape our Christmas card will take. Which thoughts would we like to share with our companions? What did the year teach us and what small gift would we include in our Christmas greetings? At that point, we still intended to send our Christmas greetings via snail-mail. And then it hit us: Most of our people are still home officing. What if no one’s there to receive Christmas mail? After much discussion, we finally decided to send this year’s Christmas greetings digitally.

As all years must, this exceptional year is also now coming to a close. It was definitely a challenging year and for many quite a difficult one. And yet, 2020 was also a year of surprising, positive developments. Despite all the hurdles we have had to take over the past months, the Christmas season remains a special time. We come closer together in our thoughts and hearts, confidence and optimism take hold. As the former German Federal President (1999 to 2004) Johannes Rau once said, “We shouldn’t hoodwink our children into believing the world is safe and sound. But we should awaken their confidence that the world’s ailments are not incurable.”

We look forward to joining you all – with precisely this confidence in our hearts and minds – in shaping 2021. And until then, may a bright light of trust and contentment shine through each window. We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a successful collective start in the New Year.

Our gift for you is the world-famous Christmas story surrounding eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in the year 1897. When she was 74, Virginia said during an interview with CBS radio, “The older I get, the clearer it becomes: believing in Santa Claus is the perfect philosophy for life.”

Enjoy and kind regards from the whole team of Liscia Consulting!

In1897, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon asked if there really is a Santa Claus. She was having doubts since her friends told her Santa Claus did not exist. Instead of answering her directly, Virginia’s father agreed to allow her to pose her question to the New York Sun, the most prominent newspaper of the day. He assured her that the newspaper would tell the truth. The letter prompted a New York Sun editor, Francis P. Church, to take the simple question of a child seriously. His response made evident the philosophical coherencies and led to a featured editorial entitled, Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus.

We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

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?

Virginia O’Hanlon.

115 West Ninety-fifth Street.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

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.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

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.