By Ben McCullyICYMI, the Oxford dictionary 'word of the year' was youthquake. But you had to believe the term 'fake news' was right up there. But this is not one of those look back at 2017 rants. No, this is actually shooting down the big 'fake news' story this time of year. Santa Claus isn't real?. Oh he's very much real. I know, because I feel him every year, even as I now see gray hairs in the mirror. The largest source of that magic, was a fateful night many Christmases ago when I was 11. Santa Claus came to me on Christmas Eve. See, I had started showing signs of being a non believer, doubting little things that I would see in the world around me, and wondering aloud 'what's the real deal with Santa'? Then...that Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning as I awoke to the sound of footsteps and what I can only describe as the stacking of presents, I decided to investigate. But before I could even get out of bed, there he was. Santa came through my bedroom door and gave me a wave. I must have made some kind of startled noise, because it wasn't long before my mother came in the bedroom as well. And this is where the magic solidified inside me. She looked around, looked back at me and said "what is it? what's wrong?" She DID NOT SEE SANTA standing there. He gave me a wink, put his finger to his lips in the universal sign of shhh, and walked past my mother and back out the door. My mother didn't even sense his presence, let alone see him, right in front of her. And then as we both noticed the candy cane that magically appeared at the foot of my bed, we both knew. Santa was real. And I'm reminded this year, as my daughter's eyes grow so wide and her voice raises a whole octave, whenever the exciting subject of Santa is discussed. Forget the fake news. Santa Claus is very real. Making Waves, I'm Ben McCully.