The Santa Claus Girl: A 90-minute Teleplay

Graduation Date

Spring 2003

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Document Form


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Program Name


First Reader

Aaron Winkelman, OP, PhD

Second Reader

Carlos Rodriguez, MA


"The Santa Claus Girl" is a 90-minute fictional holiday story screenplay for television based on the life of Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas and the most famous editorial in print journalism history: "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus." Written for a popular audience, "The Santa Claus Girl" reveals the editorial's timeless message of love, generosity and devotion through the character of Virginia O'Hanlon Douglas. She became a teacher in the New York City Public School system, completing her career at Public School 401, which held classes in hospitals for chronically ill and crippled children. Set in a New York hospital in 1952, the height of the polio epidemic in the United States, the screenplay entertains and informs the reader/viewer by showing the dramatic action of the character and the history of the editorial's significance in American popular culture.