It's hard to say when it began. Perhaps my nanny taking me (three years old or so) to a store with a large bearded man in a garish red suit. I cried and cried and would not sit on his lap. Perhaps it was later when I had reached the age of maturity (twelve or thirteen) and announced to my sister (six or so) that Santa Claus was a lie. Dad was not happy
As a moralistic parent (thirty plus) I determined never to tell my children lies. So while I never said "There is no Santa Claus", I refused to promote his cult.
Saint Nicholas, on the other hand, we enthusiastically promoted. We hung stockings on the Fireplace mantle on the eve of his feast (Dec. 6). And the first year, just to make the point, Daddy (me) received sticks in his stocking for being a bad boy. You should have seen how big their eyes were.
On Nicholmas morning their presents from the sainted bishop would be found. The gift giving at Christmas was by way of exchange only. They had the advantage on their schoolmates of getting presents early, but otherwise felt left out of the Santa Claus festivities. As young adults they're still not entirely reconciled to Dad's philosophy of Christmas and child-rearing. Oh well.
Perhaps it was my innocent sheltered and naive nature, but I found the Santa myth quite appealing as a youngster. So appealing, in fact, that I clung it to it long after others my age had discovered that it was no coincidence that Santa Claus and Dad had the same favorite cookies, or that Santa’s handwriting bore a striking resemblance to Mom’s.
Read the whole thing.
(Via In the Agora.)