My oldest is eight years old this year. He’s reached that age where it’s fairly evident to him that Santa Claus isn’t real, but he doesn’t want to admit it because he’s afraid that if he does, he might not get any presents for Christmas. He has, however, devised the perfect ploy to ascertain whether Santa is real or not. He has told us that he’s going to leave a note for Santa to sign, and he wants his mother and I to also provide him with our signatures so that he can compare handwriting samples. He thinks that by doing so, he can deduce whether Santa is real or fake, and he can finally leave off the caveat in his oft-repeated statement, “There’s no such thing as real magic, except Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.”
I was a year younger when I found out. I knew Santa wasn’t real. I just needed proof. That proof came when the race track I was given for Christmas was missing part of the track and the masking tape with the price still on it was affixed to one of the pieces. At that moment, I knew that Santa wasn’t real, unless Santa also shopped for fifty-cent bargains at yard sales. I immediately informed my younger brother and sister of this discovery, because I was an asshole.
So, for those of you who once believed, or for those of you who have children who once believed, how did/they you find out? Was it a sad, traumatic, or gleeful discovery?