The Discovery

Nate and I watched The Polar Express (or, two-choo spress’) yesterday and it got me thinking of when I discovered that Santa was a big fat lie.

I was a sneaky kid; I knew all of the hiding places and young.  That tunnel down the middle of the water-bed, under the basement stairs, the china cabinet and the big orange storage cabinet in the garage.  If you bought it, I would find it.   To me, finding the gift was more exhilarating than opening one on the proper day.  The risk of getting  caught, or the thrill of poking a hole in wrapping paper or if I had the time, slicing the tape on the back, peaking in and re-taping it.  One Christmas I was so bad that it got gifts banned from under the tree for life. FOR LIFE!  Oy, that sucked.  I had poked holes or half opened all of the gifts, all of them, didn’t matter who they were for, I had to know what was inside.  I vividly remember blaming one tiny finger hole on my cat, you know, the one without claws, or fingers.  I said I was sneaky, not smart.

Anyway, one year when I would guess I was about 6 since I only remember Heidi being around, I didn’t find a gift but I found a clue.  See, at our house, even before the big gift ban Santa would leave his presents on the fireplace, one for each kid all in the same paper with a tag.  I recognized the paper I saw in Mom’s closet was on the gifts from Santa. 

Like I said, I was about 6 but I wasn’t upset by this discovery.  For whatever reason I wasn’t that surprised, I don’t know if it had been going around school or what but it wasn’t that big of a deal.   What I did care about was protecting Heidi!  Oh, come hell or high water my little sister was going to be a believer if I had anything to do with it.  Somehow at that age I grasped the magic of the holiday and there was no way it was going to be spoiled for her.  I don’t know how I did, or how she found out but I know I went along with every story every spoken of the man in the red suit. 
Do you remember how you found out?


8 thoughts on “The Discovery

  1. My brother and I were watching TV and I was arguing with a character on the show that “no!! Santa is real and you should ashamed of yourself for not believing!”. Jason looked at daddy and said “please tell her.” So daddy knelt down beside the chair and told me. That was that…and I dont even think I was upset. On the up side (for me), my brother could no longer try to make me stay up see how Santa came down out wood stove pipe.

  2. AHAHAH!!! I remember when we lived in Tacoma, and the presents were all in the closet and we snuck in to have a peek. I think I was around 8ish, and my gumball machine was in the closet and it had a tag- To Heidi, From Santa. You came up with the funniest story about how Santa had the flu that year and all of the elves had to deliver the gifts for him. So they had to start early to make sure that they got them all to everyone by Christmas. Santa had to call mom and Dad and explain to them that the elves would be dropping the presents off and that they would have to hide them until Christmas. I BELIEVED YOU!!!! I did not find out until the following year!!! remember how mom and Dad thought they were so clever to leave a piece of paper in the door jam?? So we would just get a chair and put it back! LOL, god I pray my kids are not as bad as we were!

  3. I don’t remember how I found out. I know my sister and brother kept up the charade on my behalf for quite some time, given our age difference.

    Although, there was the one year that I was COVETING a Mr. Gameshow. My mom worked nights at the hospital at the time so she had wrapped all the presents and already put them under the tree many days before Christmas (I was probably in 5th or 6th grade). My siblings and my best friend Emily and I UNWRAPPED what we KNEW was the Mr. Gameshow box and PLAYED with it when my parents weren’t home!!! Ha! Then we wrapped it back up, very neatly, and I had to fake my excitement and surprise on Christmas morning when I opened it. My parents had no clue. Oscar-worthy performance! They only found out about it recently a couple years ago. Ahhhh….sweet success!

  4. I remember finding my presents hidden in my mom’s closet one year. I wasn’t even looking for them, she just didn’t really try to hide them that well I guess. Also! My mom used the SAME wrapping paper for the presents from her and my dad as she used for the presents from Santa…what was she thinking?

    I also remember BEFORE I knew the truth, I had suspicions. I tried so hard to convince my parents to let me sleep in the living room on Christmas Eve. I wanted to stay awake and see if he really did show up. They wouldn’t let me. Which makes no sense, because they obviously didn’t make it too hard to figure out!

  5. I have no idea how I found out, but as the youngest of four, I bet it was pretty early…

    My parents started numbering the presents at one point because we were bad at peaking. Each present had a different number or letter and only mom and dad had the magic list saying who get which number/letter!

  6. I was about 6 and walked in on my parents stuffing the stockings on Christmas Eve. Like you said, it wasn’t traumatic or anything just more of a hmmm… so that’s how the presents get here kind of moment.

    That said, I was 4th born meaning my older brothers had been teasing me that Santa wasn’t real for over a year so it wasn’t a huge shock. Love brothers 🙂

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