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?