Like most kids, I grew up believing in jolly ol' St. Nick. After all, Mommy and Daddy always told the truth about such important matters.
But one Christmas Eve, when I was nine years, I could stand it no longer.
I had to know the truth about about Santa Clause.
I remember it like it was yesterday. Mom was brushing her teeth in the bathroom. I stood in the doorway, firing away questions at her.
How did Santa manage to get into our house? How did he deliver all of those toys in one night? Did Santa and Jesus work together?
And finally, was Santa Claus really real?
Mom did her best to fend me off. She always had the gift of gab, even with a tooth brush in her mouth. And on this Christmas Eve morning, I was putting those skills to the ultimate test.
Slowly, my mother rinsed her mouth and wiped it with a towel. I knew I had her cornered. She wasn't going to get away this time.
Mom looked at me and with a firm look on her face, lowered the boom. "If you don't believe in Santa, then you don't get anything."
What? I wouldn't get anything? What's a kid to believe?
From that day forward, I never again asked my mother about Santa Claus. I knew the answer. And I believed.