When I was five years old, I was shrewd enough to realize that Mom wrapped all the presents.
First of all, she liked to save the wrapping paper and reuse it for next year.
Second, she bought and wrapped the gifts well ahead of time. And then she stored them on a shelf near the ironing board, covered with a sheet. The fact that the ironing board was in a scary part of the basement, near the smelly and grumbling furnace, did not deter me.
There was also the fact that we had no fireplace.
As well, the top of the chimney was tiny. And the bottom, well, that terminated above the furnace, ending up as an eight inch diameter metal flue with a metal flap over it. There was no way that Santa could enter our house except through the door.
Supposedly, Santa would come to everyone's house at exactly midnight, at which time he'd fill stockings with trinkets, arrange the presents under the tree, and snack on cookies in milk (although we never left any for him). Please, what am I, stupid?
My parents would allude to Santa, mostly as a form of coercion. For example:
- "You'd better behave if you want Santa to bring you anything."
- "Santa doesn't bring presents to children who don't eat their vegetables."
- "Hurry and go to bed, otherwise Santa won't come and bring your presents!"
The funny thing is my wife and I brainwashed our daughter about Santa. I was very detailed about it, too. We have a fireplace with glass doors, so before our daughter went to bed, I'd say out loud, "I'm opening the fireplace doors so that Santa can come in." And later on I'd make footprints on the hearth with the ashes so that she'd see them in the morning. I think one year I even went on the roof and disturbed the snow near the chimney to make it look like someone was up there. Still, she now claims that she figured it out when she was ten.
Tell me about your Santa beliefs.