The Year Santa Died

Christmas 1970:  The year I realized there wasn’t a Santa Claus.  I was 5 years old and those were the days when you couldn’t sleep because you wanted to know what kind of gifts would be under the tree in the morning.

Being the youngest of 4 kids, my brothers and sister would be equally excited about Christmas but I suppose being the youngest I was the most, um, gullible about the Christmas tales of Santa, reindeer, and all that other stuff.  While Christmas wasn’t being pounded into our skulls from September to December back then (Side note:  I wonder if the Right is still going flog that dead horse of “The War on Christmas” again?), there was still a lot of media saturation, Santa at Macy’s, and all the other blah-blah.
Anyway, I bought into the whole myth, and on Christmas eve I hung my stocking (actually it was a tube sock) with care in the hope that the jolly fat guy who can magically fly a sleigh with reindeer around the world in one night leaving gifts and candy for all the “good” children.  I figured I had been “good,” so I fully expected to see my tube sock (actually, it was my oldest brother’s tube sock) full of candy goodness.  When I could sleep the night before Christmas, I had dreams of that tube sock just overflowing with candy.  I really didn’t care about the gifts under the tree, it was the candy I was focused on.

My brother Steve and I shared a room back then, so he was awake, too. We kept talking about all the candy we were going to get, and every hour or so we’d go into our parent’s room and ask if it was time to open gifts.  Finally, around 6am we were given the green light, and Steve and I bolted down the hall and into the living room to see what Santa left in our stockings.

What did we find? A note tacked to our fireplace.  Yeah, a note.  A note that said:  “Sorry kids.  I ran out of candy.  See you next year. Santa.”

How could this happen?  I how could he run out of candy when he was Santa frickin’ Claus?  My best friend at the time (Grant) was a Jew so Christmas was “Christmas-Shmistmas” for him.  After I told him what happened, he said he was glad he was Jewish. After that day, I wanted to be Jewish, too.

FYI: Chanukah is December 15, 2006 – December 22, 2006



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