How I Found Out Santa Wasn’t Real

Trigger warning: This article contains content regarding the existence of Santa Claus. This content may cause feelings of betrayal or loss of innocence.

When the beard comes off and the true identity of Santa Claus is revealed, Christmas loses some of its magic. Children usually find out that Santa is a myth around the age of eight, according to a 1980 study performed by Eastern Michigan University researchers.

Here, six Chapman students tell us how they found out the hard truth of Santa Claus.


Santa Quits Through a Letter

Every year Santa would write Davis Anderson, sophomore strategic and corporate communication major, and her sisters letters congratulating them on their accomplishments. Anderson loved getting these letters. She distinctly remembers one year anxiously peeling open Santas letter to read: “Dear Davis, I hate to break it to you, but I’m not real.”  She was crushed.

Anderson still celebrates the holidays despite a crushing childhood memory. Photo by Julianna Franco.


“The Talk” Takes A Turn

Marissa Dunn, junior strategic corporate communication major, was about 11 years old when she got the ‘girl talk.’ Her mother explained that Dunn’s body would be going through a variety of changes soon. It was nice at first, until the mother started to explain the menstrual cycle and what would happen every month.  Dunn burst into tears. Reality seemed so cruel. “Is Santa even real?!” she blurted out.

Sorry, kid.

“I felt I actually became a woman,” in that moment.

Dunn is now able to smile about the devastating day she “became a women.” Photo courtesy of Marissa Dunn.


Investigation Backfires

Santa didn’t add up for Trey Makishima, sophomore TV writing and production major, and his sister. The two started their search by cross referencing wrapping paper and gift tags they had around the house with what Santa had brought. They compared Santa’s penmanship to that of their parents and relatives They brought the evidence of their investigation to their parents – proof that the fat man was a fraud.

Great, said mom and dad: Since you don’t believe in him anymore he won’t bring you anymore gifts.

Makishima decided the truth hurt too much: He faked renewed belief in Santa for the next three years.

Makishima is made into a decorated Christmas ‘Trey’ – ‘tree.’ Pictured: Avery Girion, sophomore, Trey Makishima, sophomore, Graham Byrne sophomore. Photo courtesy of Trey Makishima.


Early Santa Delivery?

Javari Hunt, sophomore public relations and advertising major, was eight years old when she snuck into her mother’s room to check out a pair of high heels she knew would be under her mother’s bed.

Next to to the heels she saw a wrapped present in the shape of a Bratz doll box. What a coincidence! That’s exactly what she had asked for from Santa! And the tag read “From Santa!” But the handwriting on the tag looked just like as her mom’s. Santa must have dropped off her gif early and in a rush and “my mom did him a favor and wrote his name on the tag,” she rationalized.

Christmas morning she opened the same present she spotted under the bed, and her mom looked at her with a big smile. “He dropped that off, fresh this morning, while you were sleeping,” her mother said. It was then she knew the truth.  

Hunt thinks back to how strong her trust in her mother was, before the Santa lie. Photo Courtesy of Javari Hunt.


Grandma Goes Hardcore

Ali Whu, sophomore strategic corporate communication major, was eight years old when her aunt asked her grandma where she bought the play kitchen that Whu loved so much. Grandma explained that Whu’s mom had bought it for her.

“No, Santa bought it for me,” corrected Whu.

Her grandma then looked at her dead in the eye and said, “Well now you know Santa isn’t real.”

Whu remembers the good days before she was exposed to the truth of Santa. Photo courtesy of Ali Whu.


The Text That Changed It All

Cassidy Kaufmann, freshman business administration major, is Jewish. She didn’t realize the significance of Santa until she ruined it for a friend.

“Santa isn’t real,” Kaufmann sent.

Her friend was heartbroken. Kaufmann stole away the magic of Christmas in a matter of seconds. Though they are still friends, Kaufmann knows she is responsible for stealing her friends innocence.

Kaufmann poses with a cookie, although she never put any out for Santa. Photo by Julianna Franco.


 

Julianna Franco

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