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Well, Virginia, Is There a Santa Claus?

From First Thoughts

I’ve never understood all the fuss about Santa Claus. Not the believing part: We have no problems in that department, being a happily credulous lot at our house. Two of us, after all, are under the age of six, and the rest of us read fiction without stopping every other sentence to say to . . . . Continue Reading »

Fantasy and Faith

From the November 2007 Print Edition

The winter I was ten, my teacher read A Wrinkle in Time aloud to our class, a chapter a day. It was, in my view, the sole reason for getting up and going to school. I loved the novel’s Meg Murry, a girl neither beautiful nor graceful nor socially gifted—yet entrusted with a dangerous and . . . . Continue Reading »

Homeschooling and Christian Duty

From Web Exclusives

By withdrawing from the larger culture, homeschoolers aid and abet the culture’s failings—or so, at least, the charge goes. Christians have a responsibility to be not “of the world,” but, we are told, they also have a responsibility to be “in the world.” And therefore . . . . Continue Reading »

Schooling at Home

From the April 2007 Print Edition

One morning, as the four children and I prepared to start the school day, I consulted the saints’ dictionary, as I habitually do, to see whose feast it might be. That day there were two feasts: those of St. Damasus and St. Daniel the Stylite, the latter of whom particularly captured everyone’s . . . . Continue Reading »


From the January 2002 Print Edition

A payload of people phoning home: their ghost voices linger, caught on tapes, rewound, rewound, as if listening could summon them back into themselves. The last hope’s supplanted now with clinging to a missed call, replaying it, imagining words” but what?”equal to the worst dream, . . . . Continue Reading »


From the August/September 2000 Print Edition

Narrowboats I love the ones most obviously lived in: bicycles and pots of lavender arrayed on a roof, a stub“chimney gusting coal smoke into the blue remainder of a wintry day, a cat at the window watching through curtains as the world on shore flows past it, full of prams and slow old men . . . . Continue Reading »