It was a mild, overcast winter night, the sort that leaves you feeling cheated of a proper chill. I'd gone to bed and fallen asleep. And then I woke up, in the middle of the night, for no reason. And it was pitch black, so I turned on the light. Couldn't sleep. Went downstairs, had some milk, went upstairs. Couldn't sleep, too full of thoughts. You know how it is. So I pulled the curtains back and sat on the windowsill, looking out over the houses across the street. And the sky had cleared, a few perfect wispy clouds making their way across a bright moon in silence.

And just then, from behind the clouds to the side of the moon, I saw a tiny silhouette of a sleigh, and a reindeer team, and a little man with a whip. And in that brief moment that it moved across the moon and out of sight, I believed. Believed more than I ever had in anything.

Santa was real and I had seen him. In that brief shining moment, I smiled. All was good in the world. Santa was there, and no matter how bad things got, every Christmas Eve, there he would be, flying through the midnight air, giving the little children their presents and bringing joy and goodwill to all men.

The moonlight shone across the slate roofs where he must have so recently trodden, and from far away came his faint voice. “Ho ho hoA Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

And I closed the curtains and went to sleep.

Of course, the next day I did wake up. And it was all a dream.

Yet on nights when it all seems too much, I recall that night, and I know Santa exists.

While there is good in the world, he exists.