’twas the night before christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
well i was stirring a bit… actually i was stirring a lot. i couldn’t sleep at all. for the first time in my life, i was questioning santa’s existence, and it was making me antsy as hell…
prior to this christmas (age 9), i had several solid pieces of evidence that lead me to believe that santa was indeed real:
exhibit a: the secret video, christmas morning, age 6
– my best friend (danny s) awoke to the noise of a clumsy saint nick causing a raucous in his family room. danny woke up his mom, grabbed her video camera, and captured santa red-handed. danny later showed me this coveted footage. santa looked a little bit like danny’s dad, i thought, but danny assured me this was indeed the real santa. okay. i was convinced.
exhibit b: reindeer sighting, christmas morning, age 7
– i heard my whole family screaming in excitement: “look out the window! you can see the reindeer and sleigh!” they exclaimed. i ran as fast as i could to the window, but not fast enough. santa and his crew were gone. but my whole family saw the sight. even my older brothers, joey and david said they saw the reindeer flying through the sky. i was convinced.
exhibit c: santa’s favorite cookie, christmas morning, age 8
– i left oreos for santa instead of chocolate chip cookies. i knew for a fact that my mom and dad did not like oreos, but the oreos were all gone in the morning, proving that it could not have been my parents who consumed the yummy treats. once again, i was convinced.
based on this evidence, I grew up knowing that all the naysayers were just trying to act cool, and that santa was indeed real.
but for some reason, this year was different. it was caused by all the whispers i heard at school: “michael garner is the only 4th grader who still believes in santa. when is he gonna grow up?!” i had my evidence, but i just wasn’t as sure anymore.
…so there i was, stirring in the night on christmas eve, wondering what i could do to find the truth, to prove all my classmates wrong. i crept out of my bed and silently snuck downstairs, hoping to see santa delivering my gifts. hoping to let my new doubts disappear at the sight of that magical jolly man. when i got to the family room, there were no gifts quite yet, so i decided to set up a stakeout behind the christmas tree and wait to see who showed up with the presents…. santa or mom and dad? we’ll see, it thought.
i waited for what felt like hours and hours, crouched up behind the christmas tree, feeling nervous and disloyal, until i finally heard a noise. it was footsteps, soft, but coming closer. and then the footsteps entered the family room, where i hid. and then i saw them, my parent’s faces illuminated by the winter moonlight shining through the window. i watched them, presents in hand, committing identity fraud right before my eyes. ughhhh. what a disappointment.
in single moment of truth and i lost everything i had so strongly believed in for the past 9 years.
i waited a good long while after they dropped off the gifts before i left my stakeout point. broken and betrayed, i snuck back upstairs and tried to get some sleep before i had to tell my family what i had learned.
but in the morning i realized that i didnt have to tell them. i didnt have to tell anyone. so like always, i received my presents, smiled and thanked santa and played it cool.
to this day, i havent told my parents what i saw. i think they they still believe that i believe. man do i have them fooled 🙂
merry christmas (and happy hanukkah, etc)
PS when did you find out? share your stories.