I thought I would postpone this thought until after Christmas lest it be thought too “Grinch”.
Santa Claus is a classic simulacrum. But it has unique characteristics:
one, it is agreed upon without conflict.
second, it has innocent true believers, some so-so believers, and some non-believers who keep the secret. They all live together in peace.
third, it is voluntarily relinquished after about a decade of belief.
For the very young and true believer, it is a full on simulacrum in that it is presumed to be an unquestionable reality. It is generally conceded that this sim is harmless if not in fact enhancing to the young. Generally, the older disbelievers despair a little when they lose the belief and see other tots begin to doubt its reality.
Those who relinquish the sim, regret its loss, and choose to protect the true believers in their innocence.
This is a classic and benign example of how simulacra should exist, how they can be held and then given up with gentleness and exit without harm. Our lost simulacra leave us sadder but wiser.
All simulacra should be so like Santa Claus.