The Christmas I Still Believed

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Ooooooh, I’m excited about this new recipe! :mrgreen:

There was almost an entire loaf of French bread in our kitchen, leftover from Saturday night’s fondue dinner, so I figured I should do something with it instead of just letting it go to waste. So, that’s just what I did! 😀


Last night, I made a Sweet Pear Breakfast Casserole using the (really stale) French bread, an Asian Pear, brown sugar, eggs, soy milk, and a few spices. I baked it last night and just reheated a piece for breakfast this morning.


Sweet Pear Breakfast Casserole


  • 1 loaf of day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pear, diced into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of vanilla-flavored soy milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325*F.
  2. Combine all ingredients, except for the bread, in a large mixing bowl; whisk together.
  3. Add bread cubes to mixture, coat well, and allow to marinate for 20 minutes.
  4. Coat a 8 X 11 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and pour bread mixture evenly into it.
  5. Cover baking dish with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove baking dish from oven, take off tinfoil, and bake casserole uncovered for another 30 minutes until bread begins to lightly brown.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.
  7. Serve with maple syrup, yogurt, or powdered sugar.

Sweet Pear Breakfast Casserole

I enjoyed a warm piece of the Sweet Pear Breakfast Casserole with a big scoop of yogurt, which I sprinkled with cinnamon. On the side, I had a mug of hot pumpkin spice coffee with soy milk. Loved this breakfast.


So, last night, Mal and I were lying in bed talking about how old we were when we stopped believing in Santa Claus. Neither of us could remember exactly how old we were, but I remembered the Christmas that I really questioned whether Santa was real or not. A Christmas “miracle” made me believe in him for another year! 😉

It was Christmas 1990, and I was 10-years-old. I vaguely remember my friends saying that Santa wasn’t real and then telling my sister because I thought I was so cool for knowing the truth. I also remember snooping in my mom’s bedroom closet and stumbling upon a whole bunch of presents that I put on my Christmas list, so I knew something was up. (Although, I never quite figured out how Santa’s reindeers ate the carrots that we left for them. There were bites out of them and everything!)

By the time Christmas rolled around, I “knew” there wasn’t a Santa Claus. I mean, those guys at the mall were definitely fake and I uncovered my mom’s little “secret,” so there was no way there was a Santa.

But, on Christmas morning that year, my thinking totally changed because under our Christmas tree was a Nintendo!!! Hey, it was 1990. Those things were totally awesome and I really, really wanted one. I clearly remember unwrpapping the box with my sister and shrieking when I saw what was inside. My mom even has photos of us (in our Christmas nightgowns and messy hair) freaking out.


In my mind, there was NO WAY that my mom could afford such an expensive gift, so the only person who could have given it to us was Santa. Plus, my sister and I both asked for Nintendo for Christmas and we were good all year long! 😉

Question of the Day

At what age did you stop believing in Santa?



  1. I think I was 10 as well…rumors starting going around at school, and I found a bunch of presents in a shed in our basement so the jig was up.

    I do remember being bummed by my Mom’s Christmas present placement the year I stopped believing. While I still believed in Santa she would always place them beautifully under the tree like Santa and his elves had worked to perfect it, and then the year I didn’t believe any longer she just stacked them up in one pile, LOL.

  2. That’s such a sweet story! I was 6 when I found out the truth about Santa. My sister is 10 years older than me and she sort of ruined the illusion. 🙂 Nintendos are still awesome, I don’t care what anyone says.

  3. I think i was 8 or 9 based on which house IO remember this happeneing in. I don’t remember what made me question, prob kids at school, but I straight up honestly asked my mom and I think she knew I was already pretty sure there wasn’t. I jsut remember her also saying “so what do you think that means about the Easter bunny and tooth fairy?” I was crushed, b/c I had not yet thought about them all being related!

  4. I was about 7 or 8. My Dad’s handwriting is very distinctive and I busted him on letters from the Easter Bunny which made me realize Santa might have the same handwriting as Dad too!

    I was sworn to secrecy and they begged me not to tell my 4-years-younger brother. It took me all of 15 minutes to dash his hopes and dreams of Christmas 😉

    I’m older and with a computer game crazed father (the aforementioned “Easter Bunny” and “Santa”) we had the first Pong that came out as well as the first Atari. I was the best date ever with that Atari and wonder if that’s why some might have asked me out, lol!

  5. I think I was about 9 years old. I had been suspicious the year before and my parents put some pieces of red felt and white fur on the fireplace screen (probably scraps from my mom’s craft projects!) and said, Santa must of ripped his pants on the way out last night! That got me believing for another year. By the time Easter was rolling around, I asked my mom if we had any snacks and she pulled out some of those speckled chocolate eggs that come in a milk carton…ONLY the Easter bunny brought us those (plus, she pulled them out of the high cabinet above our fridge). I said, “there’s no Easter bunny is there?” and she just kind of smiled and then she said she could see the light bulb over my head as I put two and two together…there must not be a Santa either. She swore me to secrecy because my little brother is two years younger than me and still believed. I felt really cool being “in” on the secret and for some weird reason was never disappointed by the news.

  6. I had been suspicious for a while but I remember the Christmas I found out for sure. We had received Ninentdo 64 for Christmas from “Santa” but no games. When I asked my dad if we could go buy some games he said “I already bought the thing for you and now you want MORE!”


  7. i am known in my family for believing for way too long- up until i was 12! i was the baby of my family and i’m thankful my brother and sister didn’t spoil it for me.

    your nintendo story remind me of when i got a puppy for christmas when i was in 8th grade. my parents told me and i sobbed. i was so grateful. i made my entire family cry because i was so shocked and excited. and i have it on tape 🙂

  8. I think I was about 8. I remember being suspicious when my uncle’s truck showed up in our driveway when I was7 and had asked for a Barbie dream house. Apparently my parents had called for reinforcements when they opened the box and found 3000 tiny pieces. I started doubting after I peeked through the window and saw his vehicle and definitely had stopped believing by the next Christmas.

  9. I was in about grade 5 – possibly 6 – when I finally stopped believing in Santa. I was the last one in my class, and the first thing I said to my mom when she told me was “I guess this means there’s no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy either then right?”

  10. That is so cute!

    I stopped believing everything all at once, because my mom made the mistake of referring to a tube of lip balm I had gotten from the Tooth Fairy as “the lip balm I gave you.” That was enough for me to launch into an all-or-nothing interrogation: “Is there no tooth fairy? Wait, there’s no easter bunny, is there? And no santa?” Apparently I was a little late in this realization, so it makes sense that I accepted it pretty well after that.

  11. I just had to hop on and agree that Nintendo was the best Christmas present ever. I remember seeing a big flat box and thinking my mom had bought me another pair of shoes, which now would excite me to no end but as a 10 year old held little appeal for me.

  12. I have to give my brother mega props for “believing” in Santa until he was 14, just to keep the fun for me. He wasn’t always the, um, nicest big brother, but he didn’t ruin that for me! I stopped believing in fourth grade, but didn’t tell my parents that until sixth grade. I knew “Santa” would always give me better presents then mom and dad.

  13. I stopped believing when I was 8. Some friends at school told me the awful truth; I didn’t believe it until I asked my parents, and they told me my friends were wright. I was devastated, and I swore I would NEVER do that to my kids.
    Now I think Santa makes every Christmas wonderful, and my kids will recieve Santa’s gifts.

  14. I never believed in Santa Claus… I think I may be the only person I know (besides my sister) who didn’t. There must be someone else out there!!

  15. I was 8. Some kids were making fun of me for still believing in Santa, so I marched inside to my mom’s home office and demanded the truth. When she told me, I burst in to tears.
    Never ask a question you don’t really want the answer to, I guess, lol!

  16. I love Christmas stories!! I’m not sure how old I was, but we always got presents from my parents and also Santa. One time I was in the car and my mom had to run to the post office and left me. I peeked in the bags she had bought and there was a Beanie Baby that I really wanted. On Christmas morning, the beanie baby was one of the presents from Santa. I was so disappointed.

  17. I will never stop believing in santa! When I was in second grade I wrote santa a letter asking for bells from his sleigh, like in the book The Polar Express. I didn’t leave the note until about 1 in the morning and the next morning I woke up and there was a note saying they were hanging from the north side of the fence. They were these 3 big bells on a black leather strap and it smelt like an animal! I never told my mom that I was going to ask for the bells, and theres no way she could have gone searching for them in the middle of the night to be there at 7 in the morning!

  18. I still believe!! 🙂

    Oh yes, and Nintendos rule! I fully remember the Christmas when there was one under our tree too. So much fun for so many years to come. We are still huge fans in our house.

  19. I thought the same way you did….that my parents wouldn’t buy me the presents I got so it had to be from Santa. Eventually I caught on though.

  20. We didn’t do Santa in my house. However, I played along and never blabbed to my friends that Santa wasn’t real. Because I never did the Santa thing, we don’t do it with our daughter, either. Thankfully she hasn’t ruined the surprise for any of her friends, although at ages 8 and 9, the wheels are starting to turn and a few of her friends have said they no longer believe.

  21. Ahhh the original NES. I still have one that I found at a garage sale with like 10 games, controllers and the gun for $15.

    I don’t remember the exact year I started questioning Santa but my family knew I was skeptical so hid the prized ballet slippers I had asked for by our fireplace. When I found the present they acted like they didn’t know where the it had come from. I was literally screaming “WHO GAVE ME THESE?!” It wasn’t pretty lol.

  22. Thank you!! I just chopped up half a half of slight-sweet polenta bread and put it in the freezer with the intention of finding a bread budding recipe. Can’t wait to use it for this!

  23. Hmm..I really don’t remember when I stopped believing. It was probably around the same age as you.

    I used to have that nintendo! I loved it. My favorite game was The Simpsons: Bart vs. The World 😛

  24. That pear casserole looks amazing! I’v been struggling with getting up early recently, but I’m sure I would jump out of bed early if I had something like that to look forward to! Maybe I should try and do some baking in order to help regulate my sleep 🙂

    I can’t remember the exact age I stopped believing, but I remember being around seven and being in school, and pretending that I didn’t beleive when other kids said they didn’t just to look cool. I have a younger sister so I think I kept believing to an older age than she did.

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