Writer's Block: Santa Claus is coming to town
I'm Jewish. I never thought Santa was real. I do remember that when I was four or five, I said this in the hearing of both my mother's best friend and her twins, two years younger than I was. She promptly said, "Riki, if you say that in their hearing again, I will brain you, because they believe in Santa, and we'd like to keep it that way!" I was impressed - she acknowledged both my disbelief and the utility of the fiction. She managed to keep it going for them until they were ten or eleven, too - their rationale by that point was "Of COURSE there's a Santa Claus, Mom and Dad couldn't possibly afford all this stuff!"
I have no objection to the concept of Santa Claus. I kept the Tooth Fairy story going for my kid for quite a while. The spirit of giving is a lovely thing. I just never believed in the personification as a separate, tangible entity.