When I was very little, Santa was real to me. My Mom and Father-Man worked hard to keep that magic alive for me and my younger sister. I do not know exactly where the tradition came from, but back then we believed that Santa not only brought the presents, he also brought the Christmas tree.
At the young ages of two, three, and four, my sister and I would go to bed on Christmas Eve and wake Christmas morning to find the tree and presents where there had been a bare living room floor the night before. And yes, the milk and cookies my sister and I left out were all gone. Just crumbs on the plate.
At the age of five, in late November, I was sitting in the kitchen deep in thought. My Mom asked me what I was thinking about. I said, “I think I know who Santa Claus is.” She said, “Oh really? Who is Santa?” I am sure she was wondering if the secret was out and the magic all over. I said, “Well, Santa must be a Texan. Who else would have enough money to buy presents for everyone?” Mom laughed.
I don’t know how it happened, at least I do not remember, but some how both I and my sister learned that year that Santa was not a single person. I think it happened when we saw Santa arrive in a helicopter at one of the near by Macy’s stores. I observed that there was also a Santa in the store at that time. However it happened, my sister and I learned that Santa did not bring the tree and did not bring the presents.
I finally learned how Mom and Father-Man rushed us off to bed and would pin a sheet up at the end of the hallway to prevent little eyes from peeking as the two of them would put up the tree and lay out the presents. I am sure it was a bit of a relief for Mom to no longer have to do all that work in one night. I am sure she enjoyed being able to put the tree up earlier and enjoy it longer.
I certainly got it wrong about who Santa is, because Santa isn’t a person anyway. Santa Claus is a feeling. It does not matter what your religion is or even if you celebrate Christmas. I am an atheist, but I still believe in Santa Claus, the spirit of peace on Earth and good will toward all people.