My first memories of Christmas were about 1950 since I was born in 1948. It was traditional then to have your kids believe in Santa Claus. It has changed a lot since then. However, my parents decided at age 5 to say to me, "Jesus is real but Santa Claus is made up." Whether this was good or not is every one's guess. They just felt that was what they should do. Whereas all my kids believed in Santa until about 8 or 10. In a certain sense to me, even now Santa is as real as Jesus to me. Because even though the physical bodies of Saint Nicholas and Jesus are long gone, both have left a mark on mankind that has made all or most of us much better people. The spirit of giving during the Christmas season is a sight to behold. For my wife it is like a job for her finding and giving presents to everyone. Sometimes, I think she overdoes it but then again, giving is a form a gratitude to God and life for being so beneficent to you. And as they say, "Gratitude is the motor of life."
For me, the happiest giving for me is when I can donate money around Thanksgiving and Christmas to the local food bank. For every dollar I give, local organizations add 6 more which makes an incredible 700% difference to those people who seriously need food in one's area. I'm at the point where I think a monthly donation is useful. So, for me, at least Christmas is more about everyone having enough to eat and staying warm during the cold weather than anything else.
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