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?