I heard a horrible story today while I was in class. My professor was telling us how when she was just a little girl, her third-grade teacher told her and her entire class, that there was no Santa Claus! She told us that she was absolutely devastated. She also said that she spent a good portion of that day trying to figure out what was real and what was fake
This is not the first, but the third story I’ve heard this week, of adults telling me how they found out that there was no Santa Claus when they were kids.
I’m Jewish, and even so, I believed in Santa Claus when I was little. Why? Because who wouldn’t want to believe in a mystical person, who gives your presents in the middle of the night, while you’re sleeping, just for being good. I used to imagine it happening just this way: on Christmas eve, I would go to bed early. And when I woke up the next morning, there would be a tiny little Christmas tree in the corner of my bedroom, with a little star on top, and one special present underneath it just for me.
… I know what you’re thinking, and I know it’s pathetic. But I was never too disappointed when I woke up in the morning, and there was no Christmas tree and no present… because good little Jewish girls like me didn’t celebrate Christmas… because we celebrated Chanukah.
But seriously, when is a good age to tell kids about Santa clause just being the story, and not a real being? Nine? Ten? I kind of like the idea of keeping kids young and innocent as long as we can, because kids want to grow up way too fast. But if believing in Santa Claus is such a crime, then what does that say about us as a culture anyway? But on the other side, it’s the devastation that they must be feeling,that really gets you. I can’t get over.
If you are the parent of an older child, how did your kids find out that there wasn’t a Santa Clause? Did they find out from their peers? Did you tell them? Tell me.