When I explained “Santa” to my daughter (as she was getting too old to buy into the guy in the red suit who lived at the North Pole) I explained that Santa was real, but not a guy in a red suit. “Santa” is that part of the human heart that gives for no other reason than to bring someone else joy. By giving her presents as “Santa” her enjoyment of them was the sole reward we would get. Not even “thanks” as a reward. She didn’t know they were from us so she couldn’t thank us for them. Her enjoyment of the presents was the sole reward. I went to considerable effort to make sure she couldn’t trace them back to me–using different wrapping paper kept stashed at work so it would be different from our own and having a co-worker sign the tags on the presents so she wouldn’t recognize my handwriting.
Worked too, she came in to get presents once and pointed at some of them saying “those must be from Santa!” because of the different paper.
So, yes, Santa is real. He’s the enjoyment I got from seeing my daughter’s pleasure and excitement on seeing and opening presents that she did not know were from me.
There’s a meme on the Book of Faces on that theme that’s been going around but, really, I used this explanation years before I ever encountered it.
And for those who still do not believe in Santa Clause, may I present the United States Marine Corps Reserve: