Last week, I talked about my feeling regarding “the holidays” (the term, not the season itself). Coincidentally, this is the same time of year when a fat guy in a red suit magically visits every good little boy and girl around the world to leave them presents. Just reading the premise seems ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Yet, when we were younger, most of us believed that this happened every night of December 24! Yes, Santa Claus manages to traverse the entire world, stopping over to leave presents to children. It seems impossible and yet we believed in him! How does he do it? Magic, stupid!
But, as we get older, we start to believe less and less with magic. Logic starts to take hold and we start to question it. There’s no way he can do that in one night!
I think I started to question the reality of Santa Claus when I was around 8. I’m not sure if that’s too young or too old to believe in Santa Claus. I asked my parents questions about how he does all of these magical acts and how come he hasn’t been shot or arrested for breaking and entering all these years (true story). During my “interrogation,” my mom said something that stuck in my mind.
She turned to my dad and asked, “Maybe we should tell her the truth.” My dad sort of cut her off and continued to answer my questions. But there was one question he couldn’t answer: what truth was my mom talking about? Years later, I sort of just stopped believing in Santa Claus altogether and figured out that’s what my mom was trying to say.
But I found this out on my own. I never felt betrayed about my parents lying to me all this time. It just sort of happened. I stopped believing in him.
I was 11.
During that year, my parents were busy putting up the Christmas decorations and they asked me why I hadn’t written my list to Santa Claus yet. I told them that I felt too old for it and I didn’t believe in him anymore. There was no debate. Nor did they try to convince me otherwise. Actually, I would say they looked kind of relieved!
Don’t get me wrong. I loved that when I was growing up I thought the guy was real. I got a lot of gifts from him growing up. Toys and presents I absolutely cherished. I did wonder how he managed to give me a Barbie playset when he’s supposed to have his elves build all the toys but it didn’t matter! I got what I asked for on the list!
It wasn’t that big of a deal to me when I figured out he wasn’t real. Probably because my parents didn’t really make a big deal about it. There was some pomp and circumstance regarding Santa Claus. We would hang my socks on the Christmas tree so it would be filled with candies and chocolates Christmas morning. I would write a letter to Santa telling him how good I was all year, listing the things I would want to get and my parents “mailing” the letter to the North Pole.
We never got carried away, though. There was one Christmas Eve where I wanted to leave milk and cookies out for him to copy what I just saw on a television show. My parents managed to dissuade me that it wasn’t a good idea because they’d be covered in ants and Santa wouldn’t want to eat cookies covered in ants, would he?
There was even one Christmas when I vowed I wouldn’t sleep the entire Christmas Eve just so I could sneak downstairs and catch him putting my presents under the tree. I was so excited of the prospect of seeing him, I was running around the house telling everyone my “plan.” Of course, I never made it since, well, I was 4 at the time.
I would still get excited for Christmas and Santa Claus was one of the reasons why I love Christmas so much even though I’m an adult. There was just something about him that still brings out the kid in me. While I’m not as excited about him as I was when I was 4, I know the kid in my just gets giddy at the thought of him.
But I wonder what my life would be like if my mom managed to convince my dad to explain to me that Santa wasn’t real when I was 8. I guess I wouldn’t be as enthusiastic for Christmas but I don’t think I would shun my parents for lying to me all these years. They did it for the right reasons. I mean, I think it’s just mean to deprive the magic of Santa Claus to kids!
If you’re a parent and wondering if you should tell your kids about the truth about Santa, I don’t think you should. Kids are smarter these days and they can figure it out eventually. But, if you’re asked by your kids if Santa is real or imaginary, you can do what my brother said when I asked him that very question.
He said, “You’ll figure it out as you get older.” I did.
As this is the last Robin’s Adventures for the year, I guess, next week, I’ll write about what I’m looking forward to in 2015! See you then!
What’s your thoughts regarding good ol’ Santa? Let me know in the comments section below!