Jolly old Saint Nicolas is in town again. It’s that time of year when the man dressed in red is virtually everywhere. December is the month when many parents elaborate on this holiday façade. It’s all fun and games until the year that the kids lose their unfaltering faith in the magic of the season.
If your kids are young, you might be wondering if this is the year when the charade is over. When logic and doubt have infiltrated the mind, and your innocent child has gained his own frame of thought. And you are finally faced with the awful question “Is Santa Real?" What do you do?
Depending on the age and awareness of the child, many parents will argue that when faced with this question, we must tell the truth! But, what happens when you do? Will your kid hate you, berate you, or bawl their eyes out? Accuse you of lying? Thank you for your honesty?
There is no telling what the reaction will be, every kid handles this reality very differently. Some kids laugh or cry, deny or repeat the truth of the lie. A few kids simply accept the truth and carry on as if it were no big thing.
But, some kids might not have been ready for the truth. There could be outright denial. They might try to investigate and prove otherwise. Santa is a very big deal for many, and the realization that they have been duped can warrant some pretty serious reactions.
15 Middle Finger Emoji
This letter made headlines everywhere after mom, Nicki Adams, shared a Facebook post showing her daughter’s Santa-reality-outrage. Just before Christmas last year, Nicki’s ten-year-old daughter, started asking the Santa question nearly every day. Finally, her parents decided it was time to dish out the truth.
The reaction? A slew of under the door notes, including a startling drawing of a hand with the middle finger sticking up. And the last one, with a hashtag spelling #middlefingeremoji! The girl’s parents said that at first, they were concerned, but by the 3rd and 4th notes they were overcome with hysterics.
As dramatic as the reaction was, apparently it only lasted about an hour. After that 10-year old Belle, quickly recovered and decided it was great to be one of the enlightened ones. In the end, her life wasn’t over, even if the make-believe part of her world has reached its finale.
14 Santa Photo Bomb
Many of us have vivid memories of being forced, or at least encouraged, to sit on the lap of that strange, old man. We have inspected his shiny boots, pulled his real or imaginary beard, and picked his pockets for candy canes.
We probably didn’t question how Santa could be at the bank, the mall, and the library all at the same time. At least not any more than we questioned how reindeer can fly. But, if we happened to be on the young side of reality, this ridiculous ritual was beyond absurd.
We know that we are sitting on some random Santa’s pants, and yet our parents expect us to smile and pose for the holiday farce. Guess again, mommy dearest! This is the photo you get for insisting on preserving the magic of Christmas. The joke is on you this year, take that!
13 Tell Me Sweet Little Lies
Have you ever asked a question that you didn’t really want the answer to? There are some moments in life when we just wish someone would lie to us because the truth is too much to handle.
That was definitely the case for this little doll who desperately wished her father had not kept their honesty pact!
“My 6-year-old daughter was precocious and very verbal. We had an understanding: we would always be honest with each other.
“Dad, is there a real Santa Claus? I mean, is Santa Claus a real person?”
I paused, considering my next words, and how they would bring about a loss of innocence to my girl. “No, sweetheart, there isn't a real Santa. Santa Claus is make believe. Your Mom and I give you all your presents.”
My normally stalwart little daughter burst into tears, nearly inconsolable.
She looked at me, eyes flashing with obvious anger: “You could have lied to me!”, she choked out between sobs.- Bruce Farmer on Quora.com
12 The Ring Of Truth
Many parents question if they should even lie to their kids about Santa in the first place. After all, a lie is still a lie, no matter what way you put it. But, many parents make the choice to keep up the Santa charade anyway, in the name of Christmas fun, spirit, and innocence.
However, sometimes it seems that Mom and Dad should have listened to their gut instinct. A parent’s worst nightmare is when the Santa secret goes this bad. Upon finding out the truth, some kids lose all hope and trust in their parents.
It might seem extreme to some, but the reality is, the Santa revelations can be very damaging to the psyche and personal relationships of children. Some kids questions why the rules of truth have been bent.
“Why tell the truth to my parents if they don’t respect me enough to do the same?”- Jennifer Shaffer on Quora.com
11 But, Santa IS Real
To some, Santa isn’t a being, pretend or otherwise. He is more than the real Father Christmas and beyond the men at malls dressed up in red suits. Therefore, the concept of Christmas can never fully be discredited.
Young and old alike will still fight for the merit of Santa Claus. These folks might argue their whole life through that Santa does indeed exist. If your kid is like this, full of hope and giving, likely your attempts to discredit Christmas will have little impact.
This kid will still believe in magic, and will always be trying to convince you of how real it all really is. Because for him, Santa is the sprit of Christmas that dwells within.
“The warmth of knowing you are making another person happy… that is what makes you a Santa. To us, Santa is very real.” -Joyce Frankel on Quora.com
10 Twin Tells Brother That Santa Is Dead
Arguably one of the worst thing you can do with the truth, is to ruin Santa for your brother, too!
“"I have twin boys. One of them is dreamy and imaginative. One of them is super literal and a very concrete thinker. The first kid loved Santa and all the magic of Christmas. The second one was suspicious from like age 2.
Last year my Santa believer came to me crying and said that his brother told him that Santa wasn't real. He was devastated. I told him to hold on and went to talk to his brother. I tried to patiently explain to kid #2 about how it isn't nice to tell other kids that and that his brother wants to believe, etc.
Kid #2 listens, nods, and marches out to where his brother was crying on the couch and says, 'Okay. Santa WAS real. But now he is dead. Do you feel better?'
He did not, in fact, feel better. My wife and I joke that our son's nickname is Dream Killer." -- Laurie R., Greensville, Kansas -from thestir.cafemom.com
9 Reverse Psychology
Sometimes as parents, that we save ourselves some drama by utilizing reverse psychology. But, tread carefully on these ideals, it isn’t a guaranteed scapegoat. Your kid might have a comeback with a strong rebuttal!
Rather than telling him that Santa didn’t exist anymore, this boy’s parents asked the kid if he believed that Santa Claus was real. This was his response:
“You know Mom, I think of it this way. Every year since I was little, presents appear underneath the Christmas tree,—a fact for which I am very grateful. But how they got there, why they’re there, and who put them there? These are not questions with profitable answers, and I see little utility in pursuing them. So frankly, as long as the practice continues unabated, I choose not to concern myself with such matters—nor have I for quite some time.”- Daniel Kamakura on Quora.com
8 Santa Is A Creep!
A few kids out there with overactive imaginations, might surprise you with a reaction of relief! As in, thank goodness Santa isn’t real! I mean, isn’t it all a little creepy when you start sorting it out?
He knows when you’ve been sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been good or bad…oh for goodness sake! He sneaks into our house at night, eats our food, and leaves without saying a word!
It’s actually quite incredible that more kids don’t have as many issues with Santas as they do with clowns! Imagine laying in bed, waiting for a creepy old man to crawl up on your roof and into your house? And, you’re not supposed to peak at him or tell anyone if you saw him!
“I’m glad that there’s no creepy man watching me and breaking into my house!”- the daughter of Royalle Webster on Quora.com
7 Stranger Danger
Sometimes we really mess up our kids, by giving them contradicting information about safety issues. The whole Santa thing is definitely one of them. Stories and decorations are not the problem, but the whole sitting on the lap thing is.
It is no wonder, really, that many kids get a little nervous, when we suddenly tell them to go sit on the lap of stranger. Then, we ask them to tell him their secrets, and to sit there long enough to take a photo for our memories.
Can we really be that surprised when our kids find out Santa isn’t real, and they are totally stunned? Why on earth would we push them onto a strange man dressed in a costume? Doesn’t it go against everything we preach about stranger danger?
“You mean to tell me that you’ve been telling me to sit on a stranger’s lap for 6 years?!”- Whisper confession.
6 Merry Barf-mas
"When he was in first grade, my son had a rough year. For a variety of reasons, he was having some behavior issues at home and school. I didn't realize how much it affected him until Christmas morning. He opened his Santa present but didn't seem that excited about it. I kept asking him what was wrong and then he said 'I don't think Santa is real. If he was, I would be on the naughty list.'
Well. That just broke my heart and I burst into tears. Full on ugly crying. My crying freaked him out, so he started crying and that made me cry more and then he cried so hard that he barfed on the Christmas tree.
It was AWFUL at the time but now that he is a teenager it is one of our funniest family memories. We like the dark humor, I guess." -- Mary Jo B., Cleveland, Ohio-thestir.cafemom.com
5 “It’s Not You Santa, It’s Me”
The typical reactions of kids when they find out that Santa isn’t real? Denial, anger, crying, and maybe even laughter. Basically, they either already knew and didn’t want to accept it OR they completely refuse to gracefully accept the truth.
Of course, not every kid is typical and therefore, not every response is either. This Mom certainly wasn’t expecting what her daughter did. Something a long the lines of “Dear Santa, it’s not you, it’s me.” It was basically a note breaking it off with the big, jolly guy!
"My daughter told me she was working on her letter to Santa, but I was not prepared when she handed it to me. I still have it. It says, basically, 'Dear Santa, I'm sorry but I don't believe in you anymore. Love, Kasey.' She wrote him a break-up letter!" - Kelli B., New Rochelle, New York – thestir.momcafe.com
4 Santa Didn’t Erase My Baby Brother
One very awful way to learn that Santa isn’t real, is to ask him for a present that you didn’t get. It could be one in a million different things that our parents can’t find, buy, or didn't even know about for Christmas. But, no matter what it is, parents probably aren’t expecting this! This kid didn’t ask for something, but asked for something major to be taken away.
"When my oldest was about 6, we did the whole Santa visit at the mall thing. He refused to tell me what he asked Santa for. All I knew was that it made Santa laugh. Christmas morning comes and my son comes downstairs and sees me nursing the baby and his face just crumples. Turns out he asked Santa to 'take back' his little brother because he 'cried too much.' That pretty much ruined Santa for him." --Terrie, Bowling Green, Kentucky -thestir.momcafe.com
3 What About The Presents?
Luckily, for some, the kids place very little importance on the existence of St. Nick. For them, Christmas has nothing to do with a cookie eating grandpa, flying reindeer, or elves in the workshop. In fact, they barely noticed Santa at all.
All that matters for these little goblins, is the fact that are getting loaded up with presents on Christmas Eve. No big dream killers here, these kids don’t care about Santa at all. All that really matters is that the gifts will still be there.
Kids like this won’t even flinch at the info about the real present buyers. They will only be concerned with how much stuff they will still be getting.
“Do I still get the presents?”- Cameron Laird on Quora.com
“I decided to pretend I still believed so that I'd still get that extra "santa" present.”- Morgie910 on Reddit.com
2 Is God Fake, Too?
Get ready for this, a potentially very heavy conversation about all things imaginary and beyond. The logic is there, you’ve got to give the kids credit for that. If Santa doesn’t exist, then neither do the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, right? Little kids can comprehend all of this.
Conclusions like these are fair and common enough. But, what about the kid who has a brain that stretches to the limit? Can we honestly blame him for linking the dishonesty with God, too? After all, if God is something that we can’t see, does that mean he is also imaginary?
This kid wouldn’t be the first, and certainly won’t be the last, to ask deep questions. Especially around Christmas time, involving both sides of the holiday that are commercial and religious.
“So, if you lied to me about Santa, did you lie about God, too?”- Whisper confession.
1 Take It Back!
No matter tactfully you handle it, if the kid wasn’t ready for the news, the backlash could be intense. Just like in many methods for handing psychologically disturbing events, denial might come first. Something to consider, how would you feel if something you based much of your life upon, was proven un-real?
The delight of make-believe things is a great foundation for children in the age of “magical thinking”. It is devastating time to come the realization that not all things are possible. Be prepared to be called an outright liar, a dishonest witch, a traitor and betrayer of all things dreamlike.
Don’t be surprise if the reality spins in every direction, and your child equally realize the non-existence of the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, and other pillars of childhood debauchery. A roller coaster of emotions will likely welcome this bridge from innocent to big kid.