The Realization That Santa is Fake


Sage Fusco, Staff Writer

When push comes to shove, there is a very real line which is drawn between two very separate worlds: those who believe, and those who don’t. There are those who believe in the glories of the world, that unicorns fly above us, and that bad people don’t exist in this tragic world, and there are those who don’t believe the lies they are fed. There are those who, when it comes down to it, believe in Santa Claus, and there are those who have given up the very idea that any good can exist in the world because they suffer from reality. But this line never cuts straight down the middlea shocking realization to come to.

So, when I put all the children I babysit to sleep and stay down in the kitchen, it shocks me to see the oldest creep back downstairs, quiet as he walks on the edge of the stairs. He tiptoes through the hall, making sure each of his brothers is asleep. And despite his juvenile laughter and petty fights which seem to give him the mentality of an eight year old, I see him creep into the living room and grab his Elf On the Shelf. At first, it seemed like he was playing some cruel, older-brotherly joke on his little brotherspossibly touching it to take the magic away. But, as I approached, it wasn’t a joke, or a prank, or anything of that sort. Instead, he grabbed it and replaced it, searching high and low for a good spot, so that his brothers could see it and, in their minds, the image of Santa would live on. He placed it above the stove and taped it down carefully, so that no one could see the tape below. He made sure it would stay and that it wasn’t going to be in the way. Then, once again, he rejoined his younger brothers by going upstairs and drifting to sleep. But he was different, as he didn’t dream of sugar plums dancing through his head—he knew the truth.

As simple as it seems, the realization that this boy, so young and naive at this point, would know the truth about the almighty and jolly Santa Claus, was actually quite devastating to think abouteven in the mind of a person who not only celebrated Hanukkah, but also suffered from reality as well. Growing up in a household in which our education was top priority, knowing fantasy from reality came with the territory and was often a blatant matter. No lies told or subjects danced around—it was merely just another thing we had to learn. We didn’t dream of the tooth fairy taking our teeth and leaving us with an allowance under our pillow. There was nothing of the sort, as there was no reason for it. We simply knew that we were growing and as new teeth grew in, they would push the old one out of place. We didn’t depend on the ginormous Easter Bunny, hopping around at night with Easter eggs full of candy, to conveniently hide them for us to find the next day. Instead, we knew what the holiday represented and we knew of its past. It was simply the way our parents decided to raise us best—they didn’t feel the need to fill our minds with many lies which would break our hearts someday. And in no way am I implying that I was deprived of a childhood, because, as it is, it was nowhere near deprived. Yes, we had been taught the truth, but we also got to appreciate our parents and enjoy the holiday with them. We got presents for Hanukkah, Easter eggs in the yard, and money under our pillows while still knowing that there wasn’t some made up character responsible for it.

However, something in knowing that another kid knew took away from me. Another child deprived of happy thoughts, rainbows, and pixie dust in their mind. In this world, it was so hard to fathom that little bit of love and joy in a child being taken away. So, it comes to question: is the truth always the best when it comes to kids? As a kid, I always lied to the others and let them fashion pictures of jolly Saint Nicholas in a flying sleigh with reindeer, but in my mind, I joked of their foolishness. I would constantly think, Believing in Santa Claus? How dumb can someone be! But, as I think now, I don’t blame those kids for being too naive, or their parents for feeding them false information. Their choice in the matter now seems so well clarified. Allow your child to believe in false figures to provide them with morals and happiness, or, in the manner of ripping off a band-aid, tell them the truth and hope it doesn’t hurt for too long. And so, the line must be drawn somewhere in the sand.