"Can I tell you something?"

Doctor Tony Hill looked over at his friend and colleague Alex's son, Ben, with whom he was stringing popcorn to decorate the Christmas Tree. At least, that was their intent, but they seemed to be doing more eating than stringing. "Of course, Ben."

The boy sighed. "I don't really believe in Santa anymore, but I think Mum wants me to…So, do you think if it's okay to pretend a while longer?"

Tony paused both his work and snacking to say, "I think she'd like that."

"Good." Ben nodded, then grinned. "I'm glad you could come. You'll be here tomorrow for presents, right?"

With a blink, Tony said, "I…."

"Of course he will," Alex finished, coming into the room with cups of coco and cookies on a tray. "Wouldn't want to miss the presents, would you Tony?"

Accepting his coco, he replied, "Of course not."

Alex settled herself on a cushion near them and inspected the popcorn chain, before saying, "More stringing, less eating!"

It was the nicest Christmas Tony could remember.