* Is Santa for real?

Spoiler alert: If you believe in Santa Claus, stop reading now.

Santa

I still remember the day I learned that Santa was not real.  That was 61 years ago.  I heard the truth on a radio show, which my parents quickly tried to conceal.  I pretended not to have heard but I knew, in my heart, that Santa Claus was a lie.  My parents continued the Santa farce for several years until I walked in on a stash of unwrapped gifts.  My mother was on the phone and nearly fainted as I scanned the Christmas loot.  I had really wanted to believe the Santa lie.  He knew me, as naughty as I was.  I could ask and wish for anything.  That was powerful in my desperate world.

Do you remember when you first learned that Santa was a fantasy?  I am surprised by how many adults have a clear memory of that event, regardless of how benign their childhood was.  My dearest widower and I decided that we would not lie to our son, despite the cultural pressure to fabricate Santa’s existence.  As a teacher, I will not disabuse kids of their Santa notions, although some students can be relentless in challenging their peers about the Santa lie.  Like religious faith, I think Santa belongs in the hands of parents, not schools.

Do you recall the time you first realized that Santa is not real?  

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