Losing Your Faith In Santa

by Dish Staff

When did you stop believing in Santa Claus? Email us your tales of childhood disillusionment and we’ll post the most interesting ones. To start us off, here’s a handful of stories from Dish staffers. Managing editor Chas:

Through a stroke of creative genius, my parents delayed my realization about Santa by at least a few years. When I was 4 or 5, they forged a letter from Santa in which they not only thanked chas-santamy sister and me for leaving some food, pizza, for the reindeer, but they actually printed, in pizza sauce, a single hoof print on the letter. This became irrefutable evidence of the existence of Santa and his reindeer, which I held tight to for years as more and more classmates and friends learned the truth and attempted to convince me. I remember actually citing the letter in one particularly contentious debate around the lunch table in 4th grade. Finally, as with many, it was my own snooping around for presents that finally exposed the lie. I found a Sega Genesis box with a price tag in my parent’s closet, and then on Christmas morning it was one of the gifts I’d received from Santa.

Thinking back I think the hoof print was actually from one of our cats, so how I mistook it for a hoof I have no idea. Also, you’d think the similar handwriting would be a dead-giveaway too.

Dishtern Phoebe:

As a child – not sure how old – I was at a Christmas party for my father’s work, and I confessed to the Santa that I was Jewish. The man in the Santa suit, a colleague of my father’s, told me not to worry – he was Jewish, too.

Associate editor Tracy:

As a four-year-old, I had the bright idea of asking Santa to sign the note I left out with his milk and cookies. So with my parents’ help, I drafted an entreaty along these lines:

Dear Santa:
Are you real? If so, please sign below.
Love,
Tracy

No signature, I reasoned, no Santa. So I was delighted to see the letter signed in big block Tracy 4yoletters on Christmas Day.

It wasn’t long before I realized that I could use the same method to determine whether God existed. And since God was a) invisible and b) knew everything, I decided to hide my letter in the bottom of a stationery drawer, telling no one. So I crossed out “Santa,” wrote “God,” and waited overnight for the Big Guy to work his magic.

When I saw the letter unsigned the next day, I handled it with aplomb. I was less disappointed that God evidently didn’t exist – even then I had my doubts – and more pleased that my little experiment had worked. And besides, I still had Santa.

Literary editor Matt:

My fall from faith in Santa began with a simple question: how did Santa deliver my gifts if our house didn’t have a chimney? A chimney was necessary, of course, because Santa and his reindeer landed on the roof, not in the street. It didn’t make sense for Santa to shimmy down the side of the house and walk through our (presumably locked) front door. My parents told me Santa handled it by touching his nose – a move that magically placed the presents under the tree. I was placated for awhile, but the seeds of doubt were sown.