I’m not sure I ever believed in Santa Claus. At least, I cannot remember believing in him and I especially can’t remember a moment when I passed from Santa-believer to Santa-denier. And it’s not that I would consider myself skeptical or wise beyond my years - I don’t remember ever looking down on mistaken classmates, at least those who gave him up at a respectable age. Of course, if you were still telling people in middle school what Santa brought you, I would have been happy to ridicule you.
My parents never told us about Santa Claus. They still took us to sit on his lap at the mall, which was a not-so-covert way of getting us to spill what we wanted for Christmas. One time we went to
I think we always knew that the presents under the tree were from Mom and Dad. (Probably because the tags said “From: Mom and Dad.”) And whatever shred of Santa-belief that may have conceived in me would have been quickly debunked by my older brother, with whom I shared a bedroom. He was happy to dispel rumors of fairy tales, introduce me to popular music, and write on my face with markers while I slept.
My parents always made sure we knew that the reason for the season –it should go without saying that the Easter Bunny never stood a chance in our house – was because Jesus was born, and it was cause for celebration. Dad still reads the opening chapter of Luke before we ever touch a gift. When you’re six, it’s agonizing because you know there’s a big wheel or some Legos under there somewhere and you’re dying to get at them. Now that I have all the Legos a man could ever dream of, I can appreciate it a little more. Even after I’ve heard it 23 times.
Still, I really like the Santa Claus story. There are lots of variations of it, but most of them have in common the idea of a guy, usually with a beard, who generously doles out gifts for good kids. Here’s a hastily compiled summary I gathered from Wikipedia: We call him Santa Claus, but he also goes by Saint Nick (Saint Nicholas, of
The good kid/bad kid gift ultimatum may or may not have been invented by parents, but I’m sure they helped give it wheels. Doesn’t matter where you live, Santa Claus/Kris Kringle/Sinterklaas/Saint Nick is an effective deterrent for naughtiness.
Beyond that, there isn't a whole lot to say about Santa Claus that hasn't already been said a million times before.