The Truth About Santa

December 24, 2017

When did you find out the truth about Santa? Do you remember where you were and how you felt? Were you the older sibling who had to keep pretending you believed in Santa while you were around your younger brothers and sisters? Or were you the younger sibling, thinking everyone else was buying into the Santa story too?
I remember a few things about the day I found out. I was in kindergarten or first grade so I was probably age 6 or 7. I remember going through a few of the stages of grief fairly quickly.
Two of my girlfriends were sisters and very close in age. One day when we were playing they mentioned in passing that Santa wasn’t real. That it was all a lie. That he was fact, their parents.
I went to anger immediately. “WHAT? Who told you that?” I asked accusingly.
“Our Mom,” they both replied. They had a sound source. Denial instantly set in.
“Well, that’s not true. I’m going home to ask my Mom,” I said stubbornly and then peddled away on my bike or big wheel. I don’t remember which was my transportation of choice that day but I hope it was my big wheel. The visual image of a blonde haired girl in pig tails tearing through the neighborhood on a pink strawberry shortcake big wheel to confront her parents about Santa puts a smile on my face.
My memory is a bit fuzzy but I remember a confrontation. I sat my parents down on the couch and paced in front of them demanding answers. Immediately they fessed up to the fact that no, Santa was not real and yes, they had been placing those presents under the tree signed from Santa each Christmas.
A vision of my Mom’s handwriting flashed before my eyes. Santa’s handwriting looked just like hers. How had I not noticed that before?
I stopped walking, stood up straight, and looked both of them in the eyes.
“Wait, there’s no tooth fairy either, is there?” I asked, my young brain processing this new truth as quickly as it could. With that question I was coasting through the bargaining stage of grief. My future hung on their answer.

I remember them uttering a humble “no” and in that moment I was ushered into the second stage of my childhood. The stage without Santa, or the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny. It was all over, just like that.
I don’t remember it being as painful as I might expect looking back. I am a sensitive person but I am also a practical person so perhaps those two sides of me found it easy to reconcile that day. I blew right past depression and accepted the truth about Santa. Life was never quite the same.
Do you remember when you found out the truth about Santa? Share your story in the comments!

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