"Do you believe in Santa Claus?" Staff writer Carol Krucoff and photographer Michael Ford Parks went to the F Street Plaza to ask holiday shoppers if they still believed in St. Nicholas.

Winston Pierre, 28, of 16th and Euclid streets NW: "To be realistic there is no Santa Claus. It's a phony."

Teery O'Brien, 28, Bethesda: "No, I don't believe in Santa Claus. It's too commerical. Santa Claus on TV gives and helps people and you don't see very much of that occurring in everyday life."

Joann Williams, 31, of 14th and Fairmont streets NW: "I certainly do. I think everybody should believe in Santa Claus. Christmas is a great time, notony for children, but for adutls also. As long as Santa brings me health and strength that's all I need."

Hilda Walker, New Hampshire and Sherman avenues: "I believe in Santa Claus when I'm with my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I have to keep them alert."

Randolph Flood, 22, of 16th and Oak streets NW: "I believe in me. I'm the only Santa Claus this Christmas because I buy for myself and for my family."

Nancy Willett, 34, crofton, Md.: "Of course I belive in Santa Claus-I have a 6-year-old. The whole feeling of Christmas and believing in Santa Claus is terrific. You stay young forever."

Marverick Parker, 20, Stevens and Eton roads SE: "No, I don't. When I was small, my mother always told me to be good and Santa Claus would bring me something. But when I got older I discovered my mother put the toys under the tree."