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.)
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.
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 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.
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?