Thursday, December 15, 2005

Santa's Last Stand.

I was ten when I discovered the truth behind Santa. You would have thought it would have happened the year of the great ghetto tree. But no... I was determined to believe, if only for one more year. I was heartbroken at five to realize that people could never fly, no matter how hard they flapped their arms and despite the number of odd towels wrapped around their neck. So Santa was my last chance at believing in magic. Christmas morning (1993) I ran out to the tree and screamed in delight. There, in all it's horrifying garishness, was a Unicorn Trunk.

Unicorns.... I think back on it now and cringe. ;)

I danced around the trunk, talking in decibels totally unsuitable for my Mom and her husband three hours before the normal waking/coffee hour. And then I opened the trunk. It was like glass shattering in my head. At the bottom of the trunk was a receipt. I tried to justify it. Maybe Santa's elves were running behind and had to get help from some of the local shops this year? But Santa doesn't use money. Why is Mom's last name on it? I pretended to believe for a couple more years. Most kids have the horrible fear that once they admit the magic isn't real, the presents disappear with the illusion.

My littlest brother is 11. He's the one goofing off in my profile pic. Last year was the year my Mom finally decided to tell him the truth. At first he cried and called her a liar. She patiently explained that as parents there's a choice to be made when it comes to the holidays. You can either "fib" to your child and let them experience the wonderment and joy of the magic, or tell them the truth from the beginning and never let them feel deceived. She chose to carry on the illusion. He seemed satisfied enough with the answer, although still understandably upset. He was quiet as they drove along. All of a sudden he piped up from the back...

Lil Bit: Are you the Tooth Fairy too?
Mom: Uh huh.
((A minute passes))
Lil Bit: And the Easter Bunny?!
Mom: Yes, that's me too.

Poor kid lost it all in one day. :)

It's funny. I'm twenty-two now. It's been twelve years since I lost the belief in Santa. But I find that each year I enjoy the holiday a little more. Each year I find more to appreciate in the people I love around me. So in a sense, I simply traded one form of magic for another. The holidays can be depressing. I look at my checkbook each day and want to cry lol. But in the end it doesn't matter how much you spent. It doesn't matter how much you received. It matters how much of the holiday spirit you chose to pass along.

Question of the Day:
How old were you when you stopped believing?



At 15 December, 2005, Anonymous TB said...

This is lovely.

I was never allowed to believe in Santa or rhe Easter Bunny. I know, it's amazing I'm not a serial killer now.

At 15 December, 2005, Blogger mama_tulip said...

Awesome post.

I don't remember how old I was -- maybe 10 or 11 -- but I remember seeing a "Sears" tag on a beautiful doll "Santa" had left me and I knew right then, because why would Santa shop at Sears when his Elves make the toys at Santa's Workshop? ;)

At 15 December, 2005, Blogger Tink said...

TB: That sparks an interesting question then...Will you be letting your future little one believe in the magic or not? :)

Mama Tulip: I think that's where we screw up. We need to scrap the whole "workshop" idea and let them know straight out that Santa and the elves shop at the department stores... Or lol.

At 15 December, 2005, Blogger mama_tulip said...

Totally. I told Julia the other day that Santa goes to the mall to buy presents, and the elves carry his bags. ;)

At 15 December, 2005, Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I was 10 and holding on hard when I finally gave up. It was 1981, and there was a number you could call every day and hear a message from Santa. I called every day, faithful as a dog. On Christmas Eve, there were new "update" messages from Santa every HOUR (as the calls were 50 cents each, I'm sure my mother was less than pleased). Somehow, I knew that the whole thing was a farce, but I *really* wanted to keep believing. My mom and I discussed the reality of the situation shortly after Christmas was over, and that was that.

My sister is currently on the fence about whether to burst the bubble for her 10-year-old youngest. I'm just amazed there are any 10-year-olds who still believe - most of them seem far too worldly for the innocence of Santa.

At 16 December, 2005, Blogger Tink said...

>>I'm just amazed there are any 10-year-olds who still believe - most of them seem far too worldly for the innocence of Santa.<<

There's a part of me that believes Santa will eventually fade out entirely from our culture. Kids are so inundated with media and information nowadays that it seems crazy that they should believe in something so fictional at all (without society beating it out of them).

But there's a small part of me that hopes innocence and the WANTING to believe in magic will prevail. Picture a world without a child's imagination. THATS scary.

At 16 December, 2005, Blogger DebbieDoesLife said...

What??? There's no Santa??? What are you talking about? I'm 42....

At 16 December, 2005, Blogger Tink said...

Ummm. Did we say Santa? We meant... Satan. Yeah. He's not real. So be sure to do all those sinful things you've been holding out on. Like #10, "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's manservant." Ooooh, manservant.


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