Actually, Santa wasn’t the one lacking that year. The UT Zeta house hosted a Christmas party for needy children, and a makeshift Santa proved too svelte for the outfit. It does make you wonder if folks left out perfectly good milk and cookies for Santa during the lean years.
The irony is that the tradition didn’t even START until the lean years. In an era of such economic hardship, many parents used the gesture as an example of generosity and gratitude for the gifts they would receive on Christmas Day. The Greatest Generation indeed.