Santa Claus needed a midnight helper, so when I was 11, my dad woke me up on Christmas Eve and asked me to help assemble 3 bicycles that he bought. Even at that age, I was “mechanically talented”, so the task was quite easy for me. When we were done, I stumbled back up the stairs and fell asleep. The next morning I was just as surprised as my sisters when we came down the stairs. My parents never came right out and said “There’s no Santa Claus”, but given the situation, they probably knew that I had figured it out.
The story of Santa Claus tracks back to Saint Nicolas, a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop, as well as many stories in Scandinavian folklore. The basic idea is about “giving” but the modern idea is just another way for consumerism to sneak into your wallet. Most people don’t even know the history of the holiday and even fewer want to examine it up close.
While other kids were singing typical Christmas carols, I was memorizing Tom Lehrer’s version, mostly because my parents only had 4 comedy albums and I played them all the time. And it was FUNNY! Over the years, there have been many re-makes of the old classics, but in the end only one thing is true; kids don’t need anything *purchased* to make them happy, they just need their parents to tell them the truth.