This I Once Believed
"I lie awake in my bed, tossing and turning, trying to relax and drift into sleep. I know it’s no use, for in a couple of hours I will wake up again and start the whole process over. It’s the same routine every year around this time; the night Santa works his magic, somehow making his way down my chimney to bring gifts. I lie there thinking about everything I asked for, and I know this year is going to be one I will never forget. However, at this point I would’ve never guessed how surprising this Christmas would actually be.
Waiting in line for customer service at Best Buy can be a very mind numbing experience. People are piled together like sardines, all inching their way every so slowly to the counter. This is where I find myself this Christmas Day, waiting in a line. Not the ideal Christmas activity, but I’m able to deal with it because this line is worth it. I am so lucky this Christmas because I got two I-pod shuffles, one from Santa and one from my uncle Todd. This means I can exchange them for the new I-pod Nano, the coveted item on the market.. As I stand there waiting, I start to wonder, “Why did Santa give me the same gift as my uncle? Can’t he see everything?” I quickly file those thoughts away because of course Santa knows what he is doing. He has to know that I would come to Best Buy and exchange my I-pod. That’s why I’ve always believe in Santa. He always has my best interests at heart. How could I doubt him? I decide right there that I would need to include in apology in my letter next Christmas. I then heard the words I’ve been waiting so long to hear, “Next!” It’s my turn.
I charge the counter like bull. The excitement is practically pouring out of me. I put my two items in front of the worker behind the counter as my mother kindly explains to her our situation. The worker tells us that we can return the two items and put the amount on a gift card. The balance would be enough to upgrade to an I-pod Nano. My mom knows that is exactly what I want to do. So the lady took my new gifts away to the back room. Suddenly, I felt a wave of fear engulf me. What if she just took my gifts away and doesn’t give me anything in return? In the midst of my small freak out, the woman returns with my brand new, black I-pod Nano. I always imagine the feeling of being so blessed, but the feeling that came over me is so much better than anything I could possibly dream. I can not completely comprehend what happens next. It goes by so fast I can hardly breathe.
I was moments away from being the owner of the hottest item on the market. The woman behind the counter says she just needs the receipt and the card used to make the purchase to complete the transaction. As I watch my mom pull out her card and hear her say “Here’s my receipt and here’s the card I used.” I feel my heart drop into my stomach. I become overwhelm with a sense of confusion and I feel my head start to spin. “Mom” I say, “How could you have a receipt and a card? That was from Santa!” I look deep into my mother’s eyes and see the terror dance across her pupils. She is speechless. It all simultaneously clicks in my head. The reason I got two shuffles, the reason Mom has a receipt and knows what card she used to buy it, Santa is not real.
Well I was right about that Christmas; it would be one to remember. It is actually one I will never forget. It is the year I was forced to grow up and accept reality of the real world. There is no Santa Claus. There isn’t a workshop at the North Pole filled with elves. He doesn’t drive a sleigh pulled by reindeer, none of it is real. And through all the tears and sadness I went through that year, I did learn one valuable lesson: Parents are liars."