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Old 12-29-2021, 10:23 PM   #21
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I can't remember, but it was a little older than most, probably. Maybe 9 or 10-ish.

Like Coola, the thing for me was that at one point we were POOR. And yet, at least for a few years, we always had a big Christmas. I'd come downstairs and there would be stuff piled up on the couch, under the tree, and on the pool table. During times when scraping up a couple of bucks to buy a comic book or rent a movie was a challenge, there was no plausible way I could get THAT much stuff for Christmas unless there was a Santa Claus, that's how my kid brain processed it. I also knew my parents were NOT doing the old "buy stuff bit-by-bit all year long and hide it someplace" routine, because I was a nosy kid and I'd constantly snoop around trying to find stuff. I also knew more "hiding spots" in that house than they did, on account of all the times I had to hide from one of them when they were high and trying to beat me. So if they HAD been hiding stuff around the house all year long, I'd have found it.

So, in my kid brain, tons of presents on Christmas morning + us being poor + nothing stashed around the house = There MUST Be A Santa Claus. Nothing else made any sense as I was well aware that things cost money and nobody in our immediate family was well-off. There just didn't seem to be any way I could magically get a five-grand Christmas when we were living on f*cking food stamps.

Turns out my Dad used to call in some favors from some of his Mafia buddies and they'd have him run cocaine through the Fall every year. That's how he got all the money to pay for Christmas every year. And boy, was THAT even worse to hear than finding out there was no Santa Claus. It took a long time for me to really enjoy Christmas again, after that. I always loved the stuff I got but I didn't want to get it That Way.

I guess a case could be made that "At least he did what he felt he had to do to provide", but my disgust with drug users was well-known even back then; most of the times I got beat was for throwing out their drugs, for example. And so he had to have known I wouldn't be thrilled with that. I didn't look at it as, "doing what he had to do to provide", I just looked at it as "So you went from one kind of criminal to an even WORSE kind of criminal, and you used me as the reason, so now I'm mad at both of us."

But yeah, anyway, I believed in Santa for a few extra years because I kept getting tons of presents we absolutely couldn't afford. Then I found out I only got any of it because my Dad was a (well-meaning) scumbag, and it almost ruined Christmas for me completely.

I'm back to loving Christmas again, but it was rough for a few years after that point. I had one where my Dad literally had less than $20 to spend and I was honestly happier since I knew the two gifts he managed to get me were "clean". Knowing all of the "great" Christmases I had as a kid were "tainted" really left a sour taste in my mouth for a long time.

"I left some words quite far from here to be a short reminder...
I laid them out in stone, in case they need to last forever..."

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Old 12-23-2022, 11:50 AM   #22
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When I was probably 10, I started questioning the existence of Santa Claus. Then one Christmas morning, as I opened the presents that were supposedly from Santa, I noticed that the handwriting on the tags looked exactly like my Dad’s.

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Old 12-23-2022, 02:28 PM   #23
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I ordered a "retired" sleigh bell for my nephew via Etsy. Very nice decorative 4" piece of leather it's attached to, I think they use womens/juniors belts for them, or so I'm guessing. Came in a nice little box tied with ribbon and a gold reindeer wax seal.

I wanted to add a tag from Santa and this...
Originally Posted by Cowabung-Gal View Post
I noticed that the handwriting on the tags looked exactly like my Dad’s. exactly why I taped the tag (a thin flimsy one from Dollar Tree -- perfect) to a sheet of paper and ran it through my printer to fake Santa's writing. It's a brown craft paper color, so using red and lightening up the opacity a bit makes it look like Santa wrote his and my nephew's name in red pencil.

I might come Christmas morning leave it outside on a little bench by the door to further separate the association with anyone inside having done this. Because for the time being that he still believes in this stuff, his aunt is going to be determined to be crafty about it. lol
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Old 12-26-2022, 11:44 AM   #24
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I think I stopped at about 10 or 11 when I received an SNES for Christmas since I didn’t even ask for one. Wasn’t upset…I just gradually stopped. Something interesting that my parents did, though, was that I only received one gift from Santa. So I would do the letter thing and if I was good Santa would bring me one gift. On Christmas morning, that gift wouldn’t be labeled to be from anyone, which meant it was from Santa. I feel it kept me a bit grounded and I appreciated the gifts more. I also think that’s why I believed in Santa for as long as I did.
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Old 12-26-2022, 12:22 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ssjup81 View Post
I think I stopped at about 10 or 11 when I received an SNES for Christmas since I didn’t even ask for one.
Ah but you see Jupi, Santa knew you had an inner gamer just waiting to jump out. He always knows.
"I was down with TMNT once, but then they changed what TMNT was. Now what I was down with is no longer TMNT and what TMNT now is seems weird and scary. And it'll happen to YOU."

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I also started The AEW Crew, the All Elite Wrestling Fan Club!
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Old 12-26-2022, 12:28 PM   #26
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On yeah. I always wrote a Christmas wishlist like every kid. And ofc I always got fewer presents than the ones I asked for since I'd lost 15 different items or something.

When I still believed in Santa Claus, I think my mother just told me Santa couldn't read everyone's list all the way through or something. For some reason, that was a good enough explanation for me. Or maybe his gnomes were unable to produce those toys in time or something. When you believe in Santa Claus you're still young enough not to think deeply about things or question things you GR told by your parents. I knew magic and monsters weren't real but somehow Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy were, go figure.
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Old 12-26-2022, 12:34 PM   #27
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I don't remember my age but I remember laying in bed hearing my parents rustling around and whispering "OK, let's get the presents."
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Old 12-26-2022, 12:39 PM   #28
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I can totally relate to what some of you said about not accidentally discovering presents stashed somewhere in the house. I too was a nosy kid and liked to open up closets and drawers frequently, and yet I've never conveniently find any of my Christmas gifts by accident the days before the big day. Come to think of it I wonder how they kept them hidden. I lived in ana apartment, so there was no attic or basement or any place like that. How do parents do that?! Crazy.

Anyway, once I stopped believing in Santa, we'd just exchange presents around midnight on Christmas Eve.
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Old 12-26-2022, 01:12 PM   #29
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Oh yes. I'd be home alone often so I'd make it my mission to find everything during like, late November into December. Still, there would be surprises. I still don't know where some of them were kept, all these years later.
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Old 12-26-2022, 02:30 PM   #30
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I honestly can't remember a time ever believing in Santa Claus. My earliest memory of Christmas was waking up in the middle of the night and seeing my mom slaving away wrapping presents by herself. Besides, being the last of 4 siblings with the biggest gap being 11 years, there wasn't really much innocence and magic left for me to experience in my childhood.
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Old 12-28-2022, 05:55 AM   #31
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Santa is not real.....I am very much a reality however and I know where you guys live - you better watch out , thats all Im saying

Sincerely , Chuck Norris
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