I can remember like it was yesterday. We would spend our recesses playing on now unsafe playground equipment while talking about everything. One day the topic of holiday characters came up. It was getting serious.
The general concensus was that the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny were fake, but there was a heated discussion on the existence of Santa Claus. I, normally vocal, a stepped back, taking it all in.
Both sides had such compelling arguments. I mean, we knew that the old guy at the Mall wasn't really Santa, but that was because Santa had helpers to get all of the wishes from the kids around the world. But, the protestors argued, how could one man and right tiny reindeer go to every house in the world?
I took all of this information, processing it as quickly as my 8 year old brain could. I was leaning towards disbelief of the man in red. But I was steadfast in my decision that I would never verbalize my hints of doubt.
I mean, I didn't want to screw myself out of him giving me presents, right?
The weeks flew by, and soon it was go time. Christmas morning was here! As an only child, my job was being the "elf", you know, the person who passed out all of the gifts. Piles quickly grew for Mom, Dad, and myself...but there wasn't a single gift from Santa.
There's been a mistake.
I looked a second time, and then a third. Surely there was something from Santa hiding behind the tree. Or the couch. Or in the garage.
But there was nothing. No one had told me that Santa could read our darkest thoughts. Especially when they pertained to him.