TBT: I Was a Know-It-All Brat Even at 5-Years-Old



This week’s Throwback Thursday is Christmas-themed. It tells the story of how each of the three Thompson sisters finally realized that there is no Santa and how it fits our individual personalities perfectly. (If you still believe in Santa, please stop reading now. I’m not here to break any hearts.)

do you believe in santa

In my last TBT, I briefly mentioned that my older sister was a bit of an animal when we were younger. She was definitely the problem child of the bunch. She was always breaking the rules. She found out that Santa isn’t real by doing what she did best: breaking the rules.

You gotta break the rules

Like every child on Christmas Eve, she was put to bed and told that she had to go to sleep or else Santa wouldn’t come drop off presents. My sister didn’t believe that Santa would be that much of a dick. What if a child had insomnia? Or woke up and really had to pee? Was Santa going to deny that child presents because of an overactive bladder?

My sister wasn’t buying it. She decided to sneak out of her bed to see if she could see the fat man in action. She saw something slightly different. She saw my mom putting the presents under the Christmas Tree and my dad eating the cookies we lovingly laid out for Santa.

But being the tough older sister that she is, she took it in stride. She was still getting the presents so it didn’t really matter to her. Presents trump your parents lying to you any day of the week.

I was one of those really smart kids growing up. I’m a shining example of why you shouldn’t constantly tell your child how smart they are. They need to be reminded that hard work is important as well. I was always effortlessly smart that when I entered the real world and noticed that there are a lot of other smart people out there, I couldn’t handle it. (Do you like how I’m blaming my hot mess of a life on the fact that I was told I was smart when I was little?)

I basically peaked in the second grade when I got a perfect score on my math Regents. It was all down hill from there. But back in Kindergarten, I was still a little Einstein.

I'm really smart

I believed in Santa for a little bit. We didn’t have a chimney but my parents told us all about Santa’s special key. Santa had a special key that allowed him to break and enter into anyone’s house who didn’t have a chimney. At 4-years-old this made perfect sense to me. Of course, Santa would have a special key that gets into every house. Of course, he can make it all around the world in 24-hours. Of course, a red-nosed reindeer would put aside years of abuse to help out his tormentors. I was getting presents. I didn’t question anything.

Then I entered Kindergarten and I started to learn a few things. I started to do the math and things just weren’t adding up. My older sister was an asshole most of the time but how come she never once got a bag of coal under the tree? How in the heck did Santa know not to go to my best friend’s house cause she was Jewish? There were way too many questions and not enough answers.

Finally, I let my parents know that the jig was up. I informed them that I knew Santa wasn’t real but it was all good. I’d still like the presents. I remember being out to dinner for Christmas Eve and the waitress talking to me about Christmas morning and Santa Claus. My parents probably weren’t too happy to realize that at 5-years-old their child was already turning into a bitter cynic. This waitress tried her hardest to convince my Grinch-heart that Santa was real. I just gave her a “Oh honey” shake of the head and said, “I know there’s no such thing as Santa Claus. You can’t convince me otherwise.” She probably just walked away and prayed she’d never have a child as annoying and bratty as myself.

Then there was my little sister. The baby. In many ways, she fits the description of the baby. She’s the one my sister and I always feel like we have to watch over. We’re always trying to help her get her life together. We’re like annoying mother hens but it’s out of love.

My little sister believed in Santa way longer than she probably should have. But being the baby, my parents allowed it. Once she stopped believing, there was no more pretending. She was in the fourth grade and still believing in Santa. Maybe this is just the bratty know-it-all in me, but I think by then you should have been able to figure out that flying around the world handing presents to children in 24 hours isn’t possible.

So my parents had no choice but to break the news to her. I guess they decided that they didn’t want her to be bullied for her beliefs. (Cause we all know kids are fucking assholes and would bully someone for believing in Santa.) They probably also didn’t want her to find out in some other more horrific way. They made the decision to let her know that Santa wasn’t real and they actually provided the presents for Christmas.

What did my little sister do? She simply chose not to believe my parents.

you sit on a throne of lies

Apparently a fat man in a red suit traveling the world on a flying sleigh was more believable than my parents buying us presents. She told my dad she didn’t believe him and come Christmas morning was so happy to see the presents that “Santa” left for her. I believe it took another two years before she finally gave up this “Santa is real” dream.

*For all my Christmas celebrating readers, how old were you when you stopped believing in Santa?



  1. This is such a great story! I really enjoyed reading it. I too identified (still identify?) as a “know-it-all-brat.” I was suspicious of the whole Santa thing pretty early on, but my sister actually was the one who tried to keep me believing. When I caught a glimpse of presents that my parents had wrapped tagged “From: Santa,” my sister assured me that my parents were merely Santa’s secretaries. I can’t remember when I actually stopped believing, but I’m pretty sure I was that obnoxious kid who went around ruining Santa for everyone else (probably so nobody would think that I still believed in him, and I wouldn’t get bullied).

  2. I was six. I saw that my parent’s handwriting on “Santa’s” presents looked a little too familiar. I also found their secret stash of wrapping paper in their bedroom closet which matched that of jolly ‘ol St. Nick’s. My sister and I are in our twenties, but my parents still do gifts from “Santa” on Christmas morning. It’s adorable. And silly. But it’s one tradition that I love the most and that I’ll be most definitely passing on to my own kiddos one day. 🙂

      1. My little brother and I did something similar. Santa had signed our Family Christmas Album. I matched his signature up with some of the ones on our other presents. By then, my belief in Santa had been fading. I never quite let go or acknowledged it. It was just something I grew out of, like a pair of old socks.

  3. You have me cracking up over here. And it’s a good think I was such and ass as a child when we were growing up because I was able to get it all out of my system to be an oh so awesome older sister now. LOL love ya and you blogs always make me laugh!

  4. Unfortunately I was much older. I have always gotten caught up in the magic of Christmas, it was the one time of year I got to see all of my extended family, stuff our faces with amazing food, get gifts then laugh at my Dad, Uncles and Grandfather whilst they snored watching the cricket. It was (and still is) the best time of year for me. I think I was somewhere between 10 & 12 and I found out when a kid mercilessly taunted me in front of the entire class for believing in Santa. Then I got sent to the principals office because my retort (at a Catholic Primary School) was, “I’m a loser for believing in Santa? Well you can’t have photos with Jesus at the shops can you? They have Santa come and visit at 6 o’clock mass on Christmas so if Santa isn’t real then Father Peter is a liar and that means there is no Jesus either”. Yup… did not go down well at all.
    When my parents picked me up the Nun (headmistress) had told me I was ridiculous and too grown up to believe in Santa, me being stubborn had said more things about Jesus (I don’t know how I wasn’t expelled!). They took me home and told me the truth… then they had a huge fight on their hands because I was angry at them and also mortified and humiliated and DID NOT want to go back to school.

    1. Awww, that was a horrible way to find out about Santa not being real. But it just proved my theory that kids are assholes and would totally make fun of someone for believing in Santa.

      1. Kids are assholes! Hubby has actually said he is not sure he wants to do the whole Santa thing for our kids, but I guess I feel like Santa is part of the magic of Christmas and I don’t want to rob our kids of that. Hard call.

      2. Yea Santa is so much fun when you’re little. And it’s even better now. My cousin loves looking at the Santa app on Christmas Eve that shows you where Santa is at the moment. It’s a lot of fun and actually educational cause he learns about all these different countries.

  5. My mom had to tell me, because I was a little slow. I took it okay. My kid is 8 right now and I’m so tempted to tell him, so I don’t have to pretend anymore, but my wife thinks we need to let him figure it out for himself. I’m just going to get really sloppy with hiding and maybe he’ll figure it out that way.

      1. lolol I felt anyone with a flying reindeer and an infinite bag of toys could find a way to lose weight too. I was pretty developed for my age lol

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