Shortly before Christmas, in my grade six class, the teacher asked those students who (still) believed in Santa Claus to please stand.
One girl stood up right away. I hesitated, thinking about lying by not standing.
But, I thought I saw some movement outside through the corner of my eye. That could be Banjo-eyes, the elf specifically assigned to monitor my behavior to see if I was good or bad. Clearly, denying the existence of Santa Claus would be bad, and could lead to no presents that year. So, I stood, too.
The class tittered. Then one of the boys in the front said, "Look, now he's going to cry!"
Obligingly, under the full attention of thirty-some pairs of eyes, I quietly shed some tears. More tittering.
That night, safely at home, I thought through the math of the situation, and decided that Santa Claus couldn't possibly get in all the visits in one night, and a bit of innocence was lost. Along with a few tears. And the cause of Santa Claus lost one defender.