I'm so sorry to hear that your childhood was shadowed by things so much worse than learning that there's no Santa :(
I guess having children is a second chance for us to heal old wounds and do better than what we've learned or been through...
Just like you, I'm putting a lot of thought into how to shape Christmas for my son. In my case, I find that it's harder and harder for me to believe in that Spirit as I get older.
The whole idea of giving and receiving feels so shallow when you're only projecting it at Christmas time.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that we, humans, should be focusing on promoting this Spirit throughout the whole year, not just at the end of the year.
The "end of the year" is the part I'm having most issues with...
I can't wait to find a few quiet minutes and check this story of yours!