Why do I do a men's gift guide every year? Because I am, so they tell me, a man, so I should know, right?
So I knew that the Tooth Fairy incident of a few months ago would help to unravel the Trifecta of Lies: Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, Santa Claus. I wasn’t sure how it would go down, but it turns out that instead of just asking me if Santa is real or not, Oliver has come up with alternate theories regarding the white-bearded, red besuited gent.
Specifically, Oliver has decided that each kid has his or her own personal Santa Claus. SO CLOSE, KID. Because how else could one dude deliver all those gifts in one night? I’m letting this lie ride out its usefulness, because I’m pretty sure that by next year, he’ll have figured it out.
If he starts asking more questions, should I tell him? At what age should I officially set the record straight? You may remember my own Santa-isn’t-real story, the one where a preschool teacher told me I must not have been a very good girl because Santa didn’t bring me much for Christmas. My mom recently told me I’d had it wrong -- the “incident” actually happened at a preschool party, and the teacher said all that stuff in front of my mom, who is a fiery Aires and does not let stuff like that slide, so you can imagine how that all went down.
But not everyone has a horribly depressing story about some jerk teacher making a four-year-old think that she is a bad kid, when in reality her single mom just can’t afford to buy a ton of gifts. Right?
I asked my fellow xoJane colleagues/cult members -- how did you find out there was no Santa Claus?
Rebecca Jane Stokes: Oh man -- so, my mom used to have my dad sneak around on Christmas Eve, scattering candy on the foot of our beds. One night he must've forgotten, and so he was tromping around at four or five in the morning throwing candy at us -- I awoke to being pelted with a festive Hershey kiss to see my mildly-crazed and sleep-deprived dad squinting in my doorway. Dreams quashed. Candy consumed.
Kate Conway: When I was a kid my mom would always make me put my teeth on the dresser instead of under my pillow so the tooth fairy could "find them easier," and when I was like five she got cocky and just tried to give me a dollar without leaving the room first. "wait," I asked her after catching her, "Does that mean the Easter bunny's not real? Santa?" my mom, who does not suffer fools, even when they are her own children, just gave me a pitying look and asked "what do you think?"
The nice thing about being an older sib, though, is that we got to keep up the charade for like six more years. Also I got to be quietly smug around all my lesser-informed friends.
Hannah: I don't remember when I realized Santa wasn't real. I think it was just sort of a gradual fade. I remember being 5 or 6 and my dad left half chewed carrots on our lawn from the reindeer. That's dedication. Although we briefly had a pet deer when I was a kid so it wasn't that fantastical.
Marianne: My parents have always addressed this thusly:
As long as you believe in Santa, he will bring you presents.
I THINK I figured it out via all the movies that talk about how Santa IS REALLY REALLY REAL. Because if he was actually real, obviously we wouldn't need these movies. Duh.
India-Jewel: I grew up with a hippie pro-Black father, and there wasn't a snowball's chance in hell they were going to let me think a mythical man blessed me with a gifts. I knew Santa wasn't real from day one, but I never ruined it for everyone else. That would have just been mean.
Daisy: WHAT THE FUCK?! Santa isn't real?????????????
Now it's your turn. How did you find out about Santa? I want to know!