When I was about 8 almost 9 those nasty rumors started going around school, you know the ones that claimed there wasn’t a Santa Claus. It hit me really hard, because I knew that if there wasn’t, I wouldn’t get any presents. I lived in foster care, and spent my Christmases at my Grandmothers, and she couldn’t afford any presents, and my Dad never gave me any presents, so if Santa didn’t give them, there wouldn’t be any. And that year I only wanted one thing, and it was a biggie… I wanted a new bike, a two wheeler.
Well I did the obligatory visit with Santa when my Grandmother took me to the electric company to get my picture taken with him, something she tried to do every year. I remember looking at him very very closely. He sure looked real to me. His beard was real, and his hair was certainly real, I could see it going into his head…. I’m sure this man understood my predicament. He was very nice, and he was as real as I could ask for. I gave him my one request as quietly as I could, so no one else could hear me. Then on a whim I added something else, a puppy. I distinctly remember him laughing at me, and saying he didn’t think he could bring me a real puppy, but he’d do his best on that other item. (And that is exactly how he put it, “that other item”)
Christmas morning I got up, and had to do the whole routine before we could see what was under the tree. There were sliding doors into the living room, and the ONLY time they were closed was Christmas morning… that morning was no different. I struggled through my Christmas breakfast, cleared the table, flew upstairs to get dressed, and then back down again to wait for those doors to open. And there it was… a new two wheel bike. And in the basket attached to the front handle bars was a stuffed puppy.
Allow me to say to this day I believe in Santa Claus, and I will take that belief to my grave.