Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Santa Question

I distinctly remember the moment I knew there was no Santa.

I was nine years old. There had been rumors circulating since I was in kindergarten and one snarky little boy told everyone in class. I chose not to believe him because my mother said that he was a bad little boy that Santa probably didn't visit anyway. I was never one of those kids who searched the house for my presents. I loved the surprise of Christmas morning so much I never even tried. It was a random day two weeks or so before Christmas and my mother was in the bathroom calling to me that she was out of toilet paper and could I bring her some. I went into the laundry room where we kept the spare toilet paper and saw a big black garbage bag and peeking out of the top was Topple (remember Topple?). The game I had specifically asked for from Santa.

I have never had a good poker face. Everything I am thinking is always blatantly showing all over my face. I'm sure my mother could tell there was something wrong. I was conflicted the rest of the day and eventually my mother asked me if I had seen my presents. I nodded. Did that mean there was no Santa I asked. No she said. I was quiet for a moment. And no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy either? Nope she said.

Finding out about Santa is not only a rite of passage for us all, but it's also the death of magic. Up until then we have that blind belief that anything's possible. We believe in Santa, and unicorns. We believe that our parents are perfect and can fix anything. It's kind of sad when those beliefs are gone.

That's not to say that I won't tell Jackson about Santa. I want him to have that magic. Even if it's only for a short time.

How old were you when you stopped believing?

4 comments:

Terrie said...

i don't actually know when i found out the truth. i think it was more of a gradual realization...i also think i knew for a while, but continued pretending, just because it was fun. it was sad for me seeing all the letters i had written to Santa that my parents had rescued out of the mailbox

BookishPenguin said...

I don't actually remember believing at all - and when I've asked my parents if I did, they don't remember either. LOL I guess it just wasn't a big deal.

Becky Durham said...

Joel Abraham in Mrs. Cherry's 2nd grade class ruined it for me. I was devastated!

I was with some teenagers last night and one of the girls said to me, "I want to still believe in Santa Clause...that was a good time."

Amanda said...

I think I was 6. I remember being awake in my bedroom unable to sleep and hearing my mom going back and forth from her room to the Christmas tree. I was never a particularly gullible child so it wasn't a big deal for me. I'm sure I had already had my doubts.