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Sierra D

Page history last edited by Sierra Decker 12 years, 5 months ago

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By Sierra Decker


     It was just days before Christmas in late 2001 and I, being an average bright-eyed, gap-toothed six-year-old had been writing and revising my letter for St. Nicholas since October. I had the task down to a science: Start with the brief hello and all the "What’s the workload like this year and how’s Mrs. Clause?" formalities, then get down to business. List every toy, I  had ever seen, in every commercial, and have ever even thought about owning. That way, in case Santa runs out of the toy you really wanted, there is a suitable replacement listed under “Not the best present but I can live with it”. The apple of my eye that Christmas, I remember, was a bean bag chair. The entire year I had been envisioning myself cuddled up in my chair, reading or watching T.V. I had to have that chair, and because I thought Santa was going to bring it to me, I was happy. I would look out at the white blanket covering my little town of Hanover, New Hampshire and feel safe in knowing that Santa was coming and all was good in the world. Little did I know that my little safe-house of contentment was going to come to a bitter end.


     My older brother could not stand to see me being a joyful and exuberant little girl, it seems, because it was John  who popped my bubble of joy with news that changed the way I viewed the world forever. It couldn’t possibly have been because I was, god forbid, annoying him... I had no more energy than the average six-year-old. Maybe that was why he did it. Simply because he wanted me to calm down? Perhaps, I will never know, but, none-the-less, it was an awful thing to do. It awakened me to reality, which you could say was a good thing, but it also opened my eyes to a world I was not yet ready to see.


     Twas the day before Christmas and I was impossibly excited. I ran around the house shouting clever new versions of Christmas carols including lines like “JINGLE BELLS! BATMAN SMELLS! ROBIN LAID AN EGG!” and “Violent night...”. Cookies in the shape of bells and reindeer were baked and decorated, a glass sat, ready and waiting, for milk to be poured into it that night (fat free because I heard Santa was on a bit of a diet). And the tree! The tree that year was fantastic. It stood gleaming in the living room, covered in sentimental ornaments that glistened in the light pouring from the holiday bulbs. There was just one more task to be done. The letter had to be mailed. I was not allowed to walk to the post office alone, so I skipped to my brother’s room, unaware of the news that awaited me there.

     “Will you come with me to mail my letter to Santa?” asked sweet, innocent little me to my older brother, John.

     “No. Wanna know why?” He asked in a way that told me that whether or not I wanted to know why, he was going to tell me. “Because I think you are way too old to believe in Santa Clause.”

     “What do you mean?” I asked, being, of course, not too old at all to be believing in such things, “Santa is a real person just like you and me and Mommy and Daddy.”

     John stared at me for a moment with a look on his face that portrayed “You are the ignorant little sister, and I am about to bestow upon you the knowledge of your much older and wiser brother”. He smiled an evil grin and with it came the words, “Santa is not real.”

“Yes he is!” I screamed at him, “Mommy said so and so did everybody else! They said


     I was dumbfounded. How could this be? I looked up at my brother, waiting for him to shout “Just Kidding” but he said nothing. John just stood up, now with a guilty expression because he realized what he had done, and walked out of the room, leaving me in a state of confusion I had never encountered before. I did not understand how something my parents, the people who I turned to with my questions of the world and the people who had always explained everything to me, had said could not be true. They would not lie to me, would they? It was something my young mind could not comprehend. I was upset obviously. I was so upset, in fact, that by the time I reached my sister’s room, tears were racing down my cheeks.


     “SUSANA!?” I cried when I reached the door to her room.

“Wha...” She began to say, but, when she saw what a dastardly state I was in she simply got out of her chair and came over to me.

     “John said there’s no such thing as Santa...” My muffled voice rose from where I was wrapped in her arms.

     Susana sighed and hugged me tighter, “Well...” she stalled, trying to find a way to break bad news softly to a six-year-old, “Technically he was right.”


     I sobbed. I really sobbed. And now at fifteen, it seems slightly ridiculous that something so mild as the realization of the non-existence of Santa Clause could make me so upset. But it did. Susana had to explain to me that Santa was not a real person, but more of a story that adults told little kids to make them be good. This discovery was what made me realize, even being so young, that sometimes even grownups lie to us.


     I began asking questions after that day. Instead of sitting silently in the back of the classroom while the teacher explained addition, I asked why two plus six was equal to eight, and how she knew it to be true. The short and sweet of it was that I lost the sense of trust I used to be so confident in before. I realize that it seems like such a small step in a child’s life, discovering Santa was a myth, but for me that step was what plummeted me down a cliff of realization. Sometimes people tell you things so you act a certain way. They bribe, cheat, and lie. My six-year-old mind may not have been able to comprehend these realizations as completely but I understood a main point. That small discovery changed the way I saw the world around me and the people who I loved became mysteries in a sense. It is a bittersweet memory for me as it made me cautious of the world but also enlightened me as to how life really is.


     I got out of bed Christmas morning at a reasonable hour instead of the usual four AM awakening. I trudged to the living room and observed the scene that had seemed so beautiful yesterday but now seemed dull without the wonder that had polished it yesterday. I was not depressed, or even really sad at this point, just not as perplexed and in awe of Christmas as I had been in past years. I was still happy to receive presents of course, I was still a six-year-old, but knowing that they came from my parents instead of a mystical workshop at the North Pole made the whole gift experience a lot less exciting. That was the first Christmas I didn’t rush to see if Santa had eaten the milk and cookies I left him or if the carrot had been nibbled by a reindeer. It was the first Christmas I didn’t write a thank you note addressed to “Santa’s Workshop, 1234 N. Holiday Lane." But this experience was not all bad. Sure, discovering Santa isn’t real put a real damper on the holidays, but after that I spent less time worrying about what “Santa” was going to bring me and more time thinking about what I could do for others. Because that it was the holiday spirit is really about right?


Comments (9)

clee said

at 9:52 am on Sep 10, 2010

Cute! I really liked the story because you made me go back to when I first was told that Santa wasn't real. I could feel your little 6 year old self getting completely dumbfounded at the news. I could totally relate to your story, so it made it fun to read(:

Nadia said

at 12:05 pm on Sep 21, 2010


justkidding . loved it. nice use of grammer and language.

hkarnas said

at 12:38 pm on Sep 21, 2010

awwww sierra!!! This is is sooo sad :( i loved the story plot and the use of grammar!! this is really good and i can totally relate to this story because the same exact thing happend to me!

tcotter said

at 12:56 pm on Sep 21, 2010

Awww you did a great job with your video! This is a great coming of age story that a lot of kids can relate to when we're little and find out that Santa isn't real. You did a great job using dialogue and description:)

jsayles said

at 1:33 pm on Sep 21, 2010

I loved your story, but unfortunately I never did believe in Santa i was brought up with just knowing there would be presents the next day on christmas. I loved your video, it goes wonderfully with the music, but your story made me sad, but thats all in the past, good dialogue.

cbakarich said

at 6:52 pm on Sep 21, 2010

IT WAS AWESOME! you really expressed what it feels like to be a 6 year old on Christmas and the coming of age aspect was very relatable :) lol, your video is awesome too.

Jodi said

at 7:42 pm on Sep 21, 2010

I really liked your story. You were able to make your story interesting read. I never believed in Santa myself, but you did a great job on telling me what it feels like to once believe in him and then find out he isn't real. I like the symbol of the tree being thrown away, for it shows how afterwards you felt that the novelty of Christmas was gone.

rreinthal said

at 9:09 pm on Sep 21, 2010

I really liked your story. I know how hard it is to face reality sometimes, but hey everyone has to do it.

mgoodman said

at 11:45 pm on Sep 21, 2010

That was such a great story! I loved it! Even though I'm Jewish, I still remember when I found out that Santa wasn't real (which was years earlier than kids that do celebrate Christmas) and I remember how shocked I was. I really liked how you described how you felt when you found out and your video was really cute! You did an amazing job! :)

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