Confession: I believe in Santa Claus, again…

7 Dec

I still haven’t decided whether or not I believe in Santa. When I was a child, I believed in him wholeheartedly, and I was rewarded with a stocking full of candy and plenty of presents under the tree. One time I even received a note from Santa, which was horribly scribbled. He apologized for the poor penmanship, citing bad weather and a bumpy sleigh ride down from the North Pole. As I got older my faith in Santa faded, as did the number of presents under the tree and the amount of candy in my stocking; until one year I just flat-out no longer believed. And since then, Christmas has never been the same.

I understand that Santa is the single greatest tool in motivating a child. Even in mid-July there is a chance that threatening a child with, “Santa is watching, you don’t want to get on his naughty list do you?” will result in the child instantly cleaning his or her bedroom or removing their fist from a sibling’s face. Once fall hits and the realization that Christmas is quickly approaching, kids become borderline saints, and putty in their parent’s hands. Everything they do is motivated by the fact that they think Santa will put them on the nice list.

I remember going to see Santa Claus at the mall when I was younger, and it seemed like he always asked, “Have you been a good boy this year? Have you been listening to your parents?”
If parents were smart, they’d slip the Santa a twenty to ask a series of questions.
“Are you being nice to your sisters, cleaning your bedroom, doing your homework, letting your parents sleep in on Saturdays?”

I always lied through my teeth to whatever he was asking. Nice to my sisters? Of course! Do your homework? Absolutely! Clean your bedroom? Only Martha Stewart could do a more thorough job.

One year I had a Santa who called me on my shit, “I know you were fighting with your sisters and not listening to your mother.”
I didn’t know what to say, he had me. I thought for sure I was sitting on the lap of THE Chris Cringle. I instantly began to beg for his mercy—and a Nintendo.

The myth that I had met the real Santa was quickly dispelled once my best friend, Tommy Pikardy—a boy who was routinely on the naughty list—pulled the beard of a Santa Claus at the mall and discovered it was fake. He informed me thee next day, “Santa Claus is not real.”
When you’re young, finding out if someone believes in Santa is something you discover very early on in the relationship. It’s comparable to how adults ask each other what they do for a living the first time they meet.
“Hey, nice to meet you. I really like Transformers lunch box. You got it for Christmas? Cool. Do you believe in Santa?”

Tommy shattered my world with his announcement about Santa’s existence, and I demanded an explanation from my parents. To their credit, they came up with something pretty good. They told me that since Santa had to make so many toys, he sent his elves around to listen to the Christmas wishes of little boys and girls, who would report back to Santa. I bought it hook, line and sinker.

Assuming there is a Santa Claus, and he does in fact have elves, I wonder which job would be more sought after- listening to kids scream, cry and beg for the things on their list—while possibly pissing on your leg—or having to basically violate every labor law known to man, in order to work around the clock making toys? In short, being an elf would suck.

I started having further doubts about Santa one year when I got a remote controlled car for Christmas. Upon charging the battery I went to take the car for a little spin, only to find the controls where broken and the car handled like it was possessed.
When informing my parents of the defect, my mother said, “We can take it back.” Then turning to my father, she said, “I think we still have the receipt, don’t we?”

I was old enough to know what a receipt was, yet I was deeply confused.
“How do you have the recipe? This was from Santa.”
My mother informed me that Santa left recipes for them in case something didn’t work. But this troubled me. I couldn’t figure out why Santa would be buying toys, if he had an entire workshop filled with elves. And if he made them, why should some store suffer financially because Santa’s quality control department was slipping.

My parents couldn’t quit explain all of my questions surrounding the remote controlled car, and cracks in the foundation of Santa-based faith began to show. After awhile I forgot all about where the car came from and was simply happy with its performance when running over my sister’s Barbie dolls. But a year later, about the time when the snow started to fall, I decided it was time for the truth- so I had a sit down with my two older sisters.

In that meeting they confirmed my worst fears, Santa Claus was not real, and although reindeers do exist, none of them have noses that glow like a light bulb. In that talk, the walls of innocents came crashing down. Not only did I learn the truth about Santa, but also the tooth fairy, the Easter bunny and I’m pretty sure my sister’s tried to convince me I was adopted, just for good measure.

When it was time to go to the mall and visit Santa, I told my parents I knew the truth. I’m not sure who was more disappointed. Although I had just realized my parents had been lying to me my entire life, and the morbidly obese man who brought me presents did not exist, my parents had lost their best bargaining chip for me to clean my room- I no longer cared about being on the naughty list.

That year we didn’t leave out any milk or cookies, and no presents under the tree were from Santa. This was also the year where packages previously filled with Lego sets and G.I. Joes, were replaced with socks, new pants and sweaters. When you know your parents are the ones floating the bill for Xmas, it’s tough to turn in a five-page wish list- which is why I’ve decided to start believing in Santa Claus again.

Who knows, maybe Santa did used to come to our house and deliver handwritten notes and the only reason he stopped is because I started doubting his existence. I think its time to bring back the faith and hope that Santa brings me a gas-efficient four-wheel drive car and a nice house in Portland with a big yard.

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2 Responses to “Confession: I believe in Santa Claus, again…”

  1. amy hutch April 22, 2010 at 5:04 am #

    I found out about Santa being a myth on accident at the age of 6 when my aunt was debating with my mom whether or not to tell my poor, unsuspecting 4-year-old (!) cousin that he was really just made up.
    I was sitting on the living room floor, and she said, “We’re thinking about telling Andrew this year that S-A-N-T-A is F-A-K-E.”
    Now that I’m older, I’m not sure which is more offensive: the fact that I was so mercilessly disillusioned at such a young age, or the fact that my aunt assumed I couldn’t spell at the age of 6. Either way, it’s a bitch.

  2. Giga5 December 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    I think that this is terrible. Obviously, you don’t really believe again if it’s just so you can get a stupid car. I think it’s sad how people have to see to believe. I do and always will believe in Santa, and I am a 13 year old eight grade girl. This boy in my class keeps telling me that Santa is fake, and that I’m an idiot for believing in him, but that never phases me. Every time I tell him that if I’m an idiot, I’d rather be one than whatever he is, and it’s true. I’m one of the only fee people in my grade who still believe, and thats probably seven of twenty four. Just because someone says so does not mean santas not real. There’s one thing for sure. I will ALWAYS believe.
    PS: I’m a Haitian sensation who’s black and proud ;p

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