Be The Boy Holidays 2008 – No Sanity Claus

It’s time to bring my mom into the holiday celebration.  Here’s a story about me, my mom and Santa Claus.

As the oldest kid in the family it was my job to serve as my mom’s assistant/accomplice when it came to thing like shopping or taking things that didn’t belong to us. The upside to this responsibility was the fact that she’d sometimes take me out of school to go to the mall.  The downside was that I learned more than I needed to know, like the truth about Santa.

It happened when we were shopping one December afternoon. I should have been enjoying second grade but Mom took me out of school early. She hated going to the mall alone and when we got to the store she said:

“Help me pick your brothers presents”
-“Why…He told Santa already”
“Santa said I should get them and he’d pay me back”
-“…..Is there really a Santa?”
“No, but don’t tell your brother and sister”

I let the news sink in. I was disappointed but also pleased to be trusted with secret information.

-“Do I still have to be good”
“Yes, at least at home”

-“OK….He likes toy cars, I’ll get some”
“Remember what I said about stealing”
-“If they catch me I should cry”

So, how did you find out that Santa wasn’t real?

If you don’t observe Christmas, you can substitute for Santa, something else you once believed.

Note: The first adult who says “What do you mean there’s no Santa?” gets banned from this blog for life.



Filed under Be The Boy Holidays, Be The Boy Holidays 08

19 responses to “Be The Boy Holidays 2008 – No Sanity Claus

  1. I think I’ve told you this before, but when I realized Santa wasn’t real, I also realized that if I admitted that, I wouldn’t get presents from Santa anymore. So I pretended to believe in Santa for a few more years, until eventually the presents from him stopped anyway.

    (Oddly, though, I did get Santa presents from Mom for a few years when I was in college. I probably still would, except she has to ship things now, and Santa doesn’t really do UPS.)

  2. As long as his name was on the presents, I believed in him.

  3. Hello, Michele, errr I mean NetChick sent me.

    I was 6 or 7 when I found out that Santa was not real. I was digging in my mother’s closet and found all the presents for that year. It was such a sad day for me.

  4. vintagecaveman

    I decided that Santa wasn’t real when I was 7, but I didn’t let on that I knew until I was 11ish…to maintain the illusion.

  5. My parents never did the Santa Claus thing. We found out about Santa from friends when I was about five and INSISTED that our parents play along. But we always knew it was pretend.

    Which of course brings up my dilemma: do I tell Sam about Santa?

  6. JoAnnAttison

    It was Vinny Iodice. He told me in first grade. Laughed at me for not knowing.

    My mom was pretty disappointed.

    Vinny also told me I had nice legs when I wore a skirt. In first grade. I had no idea how to take that at the time.

  7. Angela

    Some jerk told me in the stairwell of my elementary school (during 2nd grade). Though I played it off all cool and acted like it was old news, I was crushed. I’ve never fully recovered from the blow.

  8. I had a conversation with my stepmother (at the time) and my best friend (at the time). (relationships can be so transient.)

    Friend: I got this and this and this from my mom.

    8 year old BSH: What did you get from Santa?

    Friend: Santa’s not real. My mom told me and so I don’t get presents from him.

    8 year old BSH: uh…

    Stepmother: well BSH still believes in santa. Right BSH?

    8 year old BSH: uh… no

    I was so sad, but pretended like I knew all along.

  9. i grew up in germany where we don’t really have santa claus. we do, however, have st. nick (who, incidentally, comes tonight, december 5) and the easter bunny.

    i remember one year where one saturday before easter i called out a wish into the woods to the easter bunny, more or less thinking that was a reasonable thing to do, and the next morning KNOWING that my parents were the easter bunny. i also distinctly remember feeling i should shield my parents from my new-found knowledge :)

  10. mle

    I was 4. I woke up to see my parents putting stuff under the tree (hard to explain how our house was set up, but this was actually possible.) I never told them and pretended long past when my mom knew I had it figured out. I had 2 younger sisters and never told them or anyone else, so I guess that makes me a good keeper of secrets.

  11. Novysan

    I can’t remember when I figured it out, but I remember the day my daughter did. I believe someone at school dropped the bomb and she came home to confirm. She asked quite directly, “Is Santa Real?” to which I replied negatively. She seemed to take this in for a moment, silently, and then the barrage stared. “Wait a minute! What about the Easter Bunny?” No. “And the Tooth Fairy?” Also no. I knew in my hear of hearts if she asked me about God I was going to have trouble. Her deeply Midwestern, conservative grandmother and Catholic mother were also in the room. She didn’t. Dodge a bullet on that one!

  12. kari

    I don’t want to get banned, but …

    I have 3 kids — 1 infant, 2 old enough to dig Santa. They’re 7 and 5. I live in rural IL, and the schools around here are horrid. So, being a Chicago suburbanite snob, I homeschool to shield them from the substandard school system. I can also shield them from the charming little kids at school who ruin Santa.

    Now then, my Santa story is so huge and intricate that sometimes I almost have myself convinced. (Please don’t ban me.) Story details include, e.g., Chinese and Korean elves that help make the martial arts equipment; Santa bilocates to get everywhere he has to get; etc.

    This, of course, does not address the question. To answer: The Santa gifts at my house had tags in my mom’s handwriting, and were wrapped in the same paper as the other gifts under the tree. I had it figured out by 5 years old. I played along, of course, b/c I didn’t want to miss out on that extra gift, + we do St Nicholas (you hang out stockings the night of the 5th and St Nicholas comes overnight, so you wake up to a full stocking on the 6th), and I didn’t want to miss out on that stuff, either.

    This is why I do the super-detailed, carefully planned Santa story w/ my kids. No gifts are wrapped or labeled. We make provisions in the story to counter brats (like Vinny, above) who try to ruin it for my kids. I have explanations for everything under the sun.

    So, I am hoping to get my kids to at least 9 or 10 before it dawns on them that the whole concoction is a bunch of crap.

  13. Jenn

    I was a snoop. I found the mother load of holiday gifts. I remember thinking “wow I am going to get a ton of stuff this year” (considering these were only the gifts from my parents). So, I guess I ruined it for myself, but I would rather blame my parents.

  14. melissa

    I was playing a board game with my asshole neighbor when I was about six. I won the game, and upon being excited for winning the game, he looked at me and goes, “Yeah? Well Santa’s not real.”

    I ran and found my dad, and he told me the truth, and I cried and cried.

    My mom never stopped telling me Santa was real though. Even after I had kids of my own, all the presents she gave me were “From Santa”.

  15. I believed in Santa until I was 10. TEN! And people would say he wasn’t real, and I would respond with, “I know he’s real because my mom would never lie to me.” And then I one day I found all the stocking stuffers in my parents’ closet, right next to the walrus skull. Innocence shattered.

  16. betheboy

    @Miss Grace – walrus skull?

  17. Paul M.

    I too love the Marx Brothers with the puns.
    Miss the old movies like they made.

  18. I don’t remember the age. I overheard kids saying on the playground that he wasn’t real. I told my Mom & said, “I can’t believe he’s NOT real. Why would people make up cartoons and songs, etc.” (Geez, that’s a long way from the skeptic I am today who believes next to nothing!)

    I think it sunk in when I saw a mountain covered w/a sheet in my Mom’s bedroom shortly after my grandmother had arrived. She played Santa during the lean years.

    E and I label gifts to each other From: Santa, Hannukah Harry, Father Christmas, etc. for fun.

  19. Lisa Potato

    I found out via deduction. On Easter when I was 3, my older cousin ran into the room screaming “Guess what? The Easter Bunny is your parents!” I deduced that Santa and the Tooth Fairy were also just parents. I didn’t cry, I screamed “You LIED to me?” over and over again at my parents. I remember being SO ANGRY. I asked my Mom “Is there anything else you’re not telling me about?” and she said “No.”

    Later, when I was 10 years old and she told me about my period, I brought up the Santa incident and how I asked her if there was anything else to tell and she said no.

    If I ever have kids (which hopefully I won’t), I would tell them the truth as soon as they could talk/understand it. I’m still a little mad at everyone for lying about it.

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