I think I stopped believing in Santa in the 4th grade or so. Actually, I think it was when I first read Superfudge by Judy Blume. Isn’t there a scene where the main character says something about having to help his brother keep believing in Santa? Or the little brother confesses that he already knows Santa’s not real?
I remember being really angry when I read that. Like, how dare Judy Blume write that! Her readers are young kids; it wasn’t right for them to find out that way!
Looking back, I guess by age eight or nine, I already sort of suspected the whole thing was a ruse.
There was no big kid on the playground running around spoiling it for younger kids. I didn’t have older siblings to ruin the mystery for me. I don’t remember watching a show that wasn’t age-appropriate where a character blurted out the truth. I didn’t wake up and walk in on my parents putting the presents under the tree.
I just quietly grew out of believing.
I don’t think I told my parents I “knew” for another year or two. I think, actually, my dad was more bummed than I was.
It’s no secret that I love Christmas movies — from the classics like A Charlie Brown Christmas or the Claymation specials to modern favorites like Love Actually and, of course, Christmas Vacation. But I have a soft spot for Elf and The Santa Clause (just the first one; the sequels were pretty meh).
Because those movies are set in the “real world,” our world — yet Santa, and magic, and Christmas miracles really are real.
I mean, be honest — don’t you desperately wish you could be in a crowd near Central Park on Christmas Eve that starts spontaneously singing Christmas carols and sees eight reindeer and Santa and his sleigh fly over their heads down 5th Avenue?
Or that you were woken by a “clatter” on the roof one night, and when you go out to investigate, see a man in a red suit with a giant bag next to eight reindeer, all decked out in bells and holly?
The characters in those movies could be any of us — normal grown-ups going through their lives knowing “the truth” about Santa, only to witness something they stopped believing in 20, 30, 60 years ago.
Wouldn’t life be just a little bit better if those types of movies were real?