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  #21  
Old 11 December 2017, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Pink Pill View Post
Like Ganz, my parents never told me he was real, but they told me not to spoil it for other kids. I tried, but there is probably someone out there whose answer to this thread would be, “Little Pink Pill ruined it for me.”
I'd like to believe I didn't spoil Christmas for my younger siblings so therefore I have no intention of asking them when they found out Santa wasn't real - and who spilled the beans .
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  #22  
Old 11 December 2017, 02:23 AM
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What? You - I - What!?
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  #23  
Old 11 December 2017, 01:02 PM
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Being born in Munich, Germany we didn't do Santa Claus, presents were brought by the "Christkindl", the "Christ child". There was St. Nickolaus, but he just brought boring old stuff like oranges, nuts, chocolate and maybe some little toys on December 6th. Santa Claus was for us that weird american Coca-Cola thing.
And I think in my family it just petered out, my parents stopped pretending there is one, my brother and I just stopped pretending there is one... Also being in a family that didn't really bother with anything religious might have been a part of it. And I think I was about 16 when we finally stopped bothering with the main thing in total. Never got piles of presents anyways, and instead of a round circle where we more or less gave fifty bucks to someone just to get fifty bucks from someone else, we just spent the money ourselves.
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  #24  
Old 12 December 2017, 04:21 AM
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I can't remember when I found out but I was probably 5 or 6 because I remember being told not to spoil it for other children.

We never told the children about Santa. They were exposed it it through day-care and school.
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  #25  
Old 12 December 2017, 06:07 AM
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I have a memory, of which I've become increasingly skeptical, of taping a piece of string across the inside of the chimney in the house we'd just moved into when I was 5. I know that, after I figured it out, I kept it from my parents for a nonzero number of Christmases, because the gifts labeled "from Santa" were always the best ones and I thought once I let it slip that the jig was up, it'd be nothing but socks and underwear. And of course if I ever did this, it couldn't have been before the age of 5, because we didn't have a fireplace before that.

I have a clear memory of the scotch tape and kite string I used; the string lived in our kitchen junk drawer for years. But in recent years I've started to wonder. Wouldn't the inside of the fireplace/ chimney have been caked in soot? How would the tape have held up all night? How did I get such an idea in the first place? (Obviously I must have had my suspicions, but I have no memory of what triggered those suspicions.) Could this be a false memory?

I do have a couple of funny related memories that show what a dumb kid I was despite my early-blooming skepticism. One year we spent Christmas at my grandmother's house in New York, three hours ahead of the time zone I was accustomed to, plus I was always a night owl. I lay awake in bed in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, having listened to the muffled voices of my parents through the thin walls in the next room before they drifted off. Suddenly, I heard a sound on the roof as if someone or something had landed and taken a few steps. I KNEW it couldn't be Santa because I KNEW he wasn't real, but that was my first thought; it sounded so much like the graceful landing of an enchanted sleigh followed by a person disembarking. But I also knew it couldn't be my parents up there, because I would've heard them get up. Now, a rational person under these circumstances might dismiss the sound as a tree branch falling, or might become worried about a possible intruder, but me? I half convinced myself that my frail, elderly grandmother was up there, at what must have been 3 o'clock in the morning, deliberately making Santa noises for my benefit.

I’m pretty sure I knew about Santa and therefore deduced the truth about the tooth fairy before I lost my first tooth. And I remember feeling burdened for years with the knowledge that I felt I mustn't share with my peers lest I ruin everything for them. But it was very weird, having my best friend, who lost a tooth while on a family vacation, tell me in all seriousness that the tooth fairies in Hawaii must be really rich because she got more money than she had for the tooth she'd lost at home ($5, I think?). I remember wanting so badly to have someone with whom I could share this secret. So when a friend of my parents, who himself had two younger kids, asked me about leaving my tooth for the tooth fairy, I looked closely at his smile, determined he had all his adult teeth and therefore wouldn't miss out on the fun, and I leaned in close and whispered, "can I tell you a secret?"
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  #26  
Old 12 December 2017, 01:01 PM
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[QUOTE=Esprise Me;1966503] Wouldn't the inside of the fireplace/ chimney have been caked in soot? How would the tape have held up all night? How did I get such an idea in the first place?

I remember once asking my father how Santa could get down the chimney when the damper was closed. He explained that he opened it before he went to bed and then closed it sometime the next day.
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  #27  
Old 12 December 2017, 01:22 PM
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Last year my son (then 8) told us before Christmas that there was no Santa, since he figured out the whole thing was implausible, but he wasn't going to tell his little sister. My wife had a talk with him about how Santa is not a person but a spirit, and that the spirit lives through people doing kind deeds to others, especially around this time of the year. She then said she thought he was old enough to be a Santa, and that there was someone she knew that needed help this Christmas. It was someone young, who had no family, and whose best friend had just moved away, and asked if he would help. My son immediately offered to get some of his toys for that kid. My wife told him he didn't have to, they would go help him out. She drove my son over to this poor soul's house...and that is where my son met a kitten, who's foster brother had been adopted the day before, and needed a home. My son was able to be a VERY good Santa to that kitten.
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  #28  
Old 12 December 2017, 05:28 PM
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Esprise Me, was the chimney in frequent use? If not, then it might not have been sooty; especially if the previous owners had had it cleaned just before selling, or your parents had had it cleaned right after moving in.

dfresh, that's a great story!
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  #29  
Old 12 December 2017, 06:04 PM
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Esprise me, I think these stories often have at least some kernel of truth to them. Whether that was a plan you thought through, but didn't execute or something you did later.

I would be surprised if a 5 year old could pull that off without someone in the house knowing. But, that's not to say that it didn't happen as you remember it.
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  #30  
Old 15 December 2017, 04:04 PM
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I don't remember a big reveal. One year I found myself helping to wrap presents for my little sisters. I had to have been 11. It felt cool and grown up to be in on the secret so I wasn't disappointed. I'm not sure how my younger siblings found out as I was not inclined to tell.

At my oldest child's first Christmas I had an amazing moment where I realized I was now Santa. It was magical. That kiddo is now almost 12 and I have been wondering if she needs to be initiated into the Santa helper club. She is a smart Snopester kid and is skeptical about many things but I suspect she still has some belief in her heart. We don't go out of our way to enforce Santa belief. If we get asked about him there is a lot of "What do you think?"
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  #31  
Old 15 December 2017, 06:32 PM
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One of my nephews, at an age that I no longer remember but I think was probably somewhere around seven or eight, asked me in private whether Santa was real.

Taken by surprise, I said "There are different kinds of real." He got a glum expression on his face and said, more or less, 'I thought so.'; and was not interested in further explanations.

I'm still not sure whether that was the right thing to have said or not; but he was obviously already suspicious. I don't think he was quite old enough to understand the reality of the other kind of real, though.
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  #32  
Old 15 December 2017, 07:12 PM
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I was 6 when I pointed out that the Santa that had just visited a family gathering was actually my uncle. I think I could have still believed if my parents had acknowledged it, but played it off, like, yes, of course the real Santa is too busy and can't make personal appearances at parties, so we did this for fun. Instead, they denied that it was my uncle in a Santa suit, and insisted it was really Santa. So then I knew.

I'm not sure how much my kids believe in Santa. We were conflicted about it. It can be cool for kids to have a sense of magic, but we also didn't really want to lie. Ultimately we have done the Santa thing because SO's brother's family does it, and it would have been a huge deal if we didn't join in, or "ruined" it.

I think we were utterly unconvincing about the Easter Bunny, in part because SO did not grow up with that, and I couldn't really remember what the Easter Bunny supposedly did, and we kind of just half-heartedly said something about it the day before.
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  #33  
Old 15 December 2017, 10:22 PM
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When we first told my son, he was about four. He looked me straight in the eye and said, very scornfully, “That’s not true.” Then he thought the better of it and played along for a few years. In Japan Santa often leaves the gift (usually just one) in the child’s bedroom. One night a few years later he caught me coming into his room to help Santa. (Sue me; I’m not a very good Santa’s helper.) That was when he decided it was OK (again) to let on that he didn’t believe. Our youngest has a very fantastical world already. Pretty much everything is make believe but she definitely knows the difference because if I get too involved she’ll say “there aren’t really any ghosts Papa” or whatever. So I don’t know if she thinks Santa is just a game or not. (I’m getting some hints, though, because she is starting to talk to us as if we were Santa. “Can’t I have three? Please!…”)
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  #34  
Old 17 December 2017, 12:02 AM
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TL, I think you handled it fine. But then, I also think it would've been fine to just say "no." So maybe don't listen to me.

Did anyone else feel foolish, betrayed, or other negative emotions besides disappointed? I used to feel strongly that instilling the Santa story in young children was wrong, that it was a breach of trust and setting them up to believe in all kinds of pernicious nonsense. But nobody else seems to have experienced it that way, so I don't really know what to think anymore. I suppose it could even be argued that it does the opposite, by teaching children early on that not all "lies" are about hurting people, and not everything your parents tell you is the truth.

I have two younger cousins on my father's side whom I love but often don't understand, because they've never been much like I was at their ages--or at any age. I couldn't wait to get my driver's license; one of them never got hers (she's 30 now) and the other waited several years and still avoids driving whenever possible. I went to college 3,000 miles from home (and studied abroad twice); they both stayed within 100 miles of home and now live in the small city where they grew up. While I was probably at least thinking about devising a trap to disprove the existence of Santa at age 5, they asked their mom when they were 8 and 11, and when she asked if they really wanted to know, they both cried out, "no!" She continued playing Santa for years after, though on some level I guess the jig was up.
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  #35  
Old 18 December 2017, 02:28 PM
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Esprise Me, my wife never wanted to teach the kids about Santa, due to the idea of lying to the kids. (I didn't much care either way.) However, she did tell them about fairies, and magic, and decided that the kids believing in magic and wonder and a spirit who loved enough to spread joy everywhere was a very good thing, so the kids got to hear about Santa. Childhood can be a wonderful time if you make it so, and so we try to encourage that as long as possible. They will figure out the truth soon enough.

We didn't get them into any religion, however, since the whole Christian thing has gotten too mean and political. SO, they know about house fairies and the like instead.
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  #36  
Old 18 December 2017, 03:22 PM
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Semi-obligatory Terry Pratchett quote.
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  #37  
Old 18 December 2017, 04:06 PM
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For me, that section leaves out the best part, "You have to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" Don't remember if that is from both the book and movie, but that's the kicker.
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  #38  
Old 19 December 2017, 01:52 AM
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I've been an almost complete failure at "setting them up to believe in all kinds of pernicious nonsense". When they're small they think everything is pretend and just for fun. Then they get older and they learn to question, to look for "evidence" and "science". I have had to come to terms with the fact that they are a lot smarter than me. Not hard to believe but not all that easy to accept.
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  #39  
Old 24 December 2017, 07:57 PM
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It took me a while. When I was about 8 I stumbled upon a trove of toys that my brother and I had told our Mom that we wanted. It was in a closet under a set of stairs that no one ever went in. We were playing hide and seek and we found these toys.

Later that year, at Christmas, those toys were given to us from Santa.

However, yours truly, being a bit brighter than most, and a definite believer at the age of 8 in Santa, had determined that Santa's sleigh was far too small to carry toys for a whole city, let alone the world, in his sack. So, I "discovered" that Santa pre-positioned his toys so that when he got into the house, he did not have to bring all the toys down with him. He just had to go to the closet.

That stuck with me until I was about 12 when putting 2 and 2 together I finally arrived at 4. However, as I had younger siblings, and I was still receiving presents, I enjoyed being in on the act.

Merry Christmas to all.
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  #40  
Old 24 December 2017, 08:03 PM
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I think I was 6 or 7 when I accidentally walked in on Mom wrapping a present that was "from Santa."
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