One of the first, maybe the first, patterns of human behaviour I tuned into was what us Hockeys did every Christmas. My family did not have money like a lot of Canadian families have nowadays. We did not have shit.
But without fail each and every Christmas we got a toy or two, some books and new pyjamas. We were allowed to open one Christmas gift on Christmas Eve, our pyjamas from Grandma and Grandpa. We knew they were really just from Grandma but Grandpa liked his name on the tag.
It was not until I began going to school that I learned of other family's Christmas traditions. When I did I asked my dad, "We leave carrots and apples out for the hungry reindeer, why don't we leave a glass of milk out for Santa to drink with his cookies like everybody else does?"
"Santa doesn't drink that shit!" explained my dad. "Not unless he is a JW anyways. He drinks Wisers. Same as me. Once you grow up you won't drink milk either. At least I hope you won't. You're not a queer motherfucker are you Beer? Get that bottle down from the cupboard and pour Santa a triple."