Christmas at our house was always a happy time for us kids and a fretful time for my folks. Finding a way to make all our wishes come true put a lot of stress on our tight family budget. Our house was small and my brother Dave and I had the room next to the parents, sometimes at night I would awaken to the whispered plans to get things done while my brother sufficed to let the “Sugar Plums” dance on his head. One night it wasn’t toys that bothered my mom it was the fact that she felt my brother was beginning to doubt the existence of Santa Claus at too early an age. She had sworn me to secrecy month’s before knowing my penchant to show off my maturity and exclaim that I possessed information that my younger brother could not know. My dad had the answer, at 2am on Christmas Day he put on his coat and went out too the front yard and made the marks of sleigh runners in the snow and had also purchased a couple of boxes of fake reindeer droppings and spread them in front of the marks. Next morning as my brother ran in to open presents my dad stood at the window complaining Santa didn’t clean up after his reindeer. My brother ran to the window with anticipation and outside lay the proof. The ruse had kept Santa alive, well at least for 2 weeks when I, as a dutiful mentor of the little guy figured that 8 was the time to let go and grow up, I regret it to this day.