I used to believe in Santa Claus. I know it sounds a bit unusual to think of a young Jewish lass on Long Island pining away for ol' Kris Kringle, but it's true. My parents had always led me and my brother to believe that it was Santa who provided our Hanukkah gifts.
We bought it hook, line and sinker. No questions about why Santa always left the gifts in my parent's closet each of the eight nights. No concerns about the jolly fellow's other decidedly non-Jewish monikers - Father Christmas and St. Nick. Heck, I even went as far as to believe that Santa Claus was simply being generous in signing gift cards from my assorted relatives. Please! He couldn't fool me with that lousy signature from "Grandpa Fred and Grandma Carole." It was really Santa Claus behind those new, nifty Colorforms and Shrinky Dink sets.
It took me a while to accept that Santa didn't exist. And, now, according to the BBC, it looks like I'm going to have to deal with another difficult blow:
An apple tree which baffled its 94-year-old owner by apparently producing three different kinds of fruit has been revealed as a hoax.
The tree at Harry Tomlinson's garden in north Wales seemed to be growing plums and blackberries as well as apples.
The 'fruit salad' tree was reported in newspapers and on TV news bulletins.
But close inspection revealed that the plums and blackberries had simply been stuck on. The identity of the Abergele practical joker remains a mystery.
Mr Tomlinson's apple tree had grown in his garden for 30 years before it appeared to start to bear plums and blackberries.
Horticulturalists remained sceptical about the apparent discovery before experts confirmed on Wednesday that two of the fruits had been attached.
Apples, blackberries and plums appeared to grow on the tree
Dr Colin Norton, of the Welsh College of Horticulture, said: "We're always interested in new plants but this one, from 10 yards away, you can see it's a hoax.
"It was quite evident that the leaves on the tree were the same throughout.
"The second indicator was that the fruits just didn't go with the particular leaves they were alongside."
Mr Tomlinson, who has three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, admitted he had been tricked but remained mystified over who had stuck the fruit to the tree.
He added: "I've found that it isn't true and that somebody has made a joke.
"They've brought some plums from somewhere else and fixed them on.
"I think it's a rotten trick."
I'm convinced that it's either the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy behind this produce prank.