We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us how they *spoiler alert* found out Santa wasn't real. Here are the some the stories they submitted:
1. When this kid should've just slept in their bed:
I was about 7 and loved the "magic of Christmas," so I always begged to sleep in our living room next to the Christmas tree (right by our front door). I'm not sure why my parents let me sleep there on Christmas Eve because they had to drag four new bikes into the house, which of course woke me and I saw them. I pretended to be asleep while they finished placing "Santa's gifts" under the tree, but I cried myself to sleep that night.
2. When this teacher ruined the illusion:
I walked into my class one day in fifth grade (FIFTH GRADE!!!) and my teacher sits us all down. He asks, "How many of you still believe in Santa Claus?" After he sees about half the class raise their hands, he says, "Yeah, Santa’s not real. It’s your parents. And the Tooth Fairy. Oh, and the Easter Bunny, too." And then he proceeded to start our science lesson!
3. When the Tooth Fairy ruined it all:
When I found out Santa wasn't real, my whole childhood was crushed at once. It happened after I lost a tooth and woke up to the tooth still under my pillow...for the third day in a row. I went downstairs and complained to my mom that the Tooth Fairy kept forgetting to come. She tried to tell me that the Tooth Fairy was sick, but I kept complaining. My mom then got upset and told me to wait until Friday because that's when she got paid. I gave her a confused look and she rolled her eyes while she said "I'm the Tooth Fairy, okay!" I was so shocked, but even more so when my mom followed it up with "Oh, BTW, I'm Santa and the Easter Bunny, too."
4. When Santa was missing his trademark accent:
I️n first grade Santa came to our school for a toy drive, and I️ turned to my teacher and said “That isn’t Santa, Santa is Cuban.” Her face alone told me I️ had clearly been lied to up until then. My father is Cuban, and would dress up as Santa every Christmas and wake me up saying “Ho Ho Ho” in a very thick accent. I️ got in the car after school and looked at my mom and said “Santa isn’t Cuban is he? I️s he even real?!” And that’s how I️ learned Santa is make believe.
5. When this dad tried to be a good Santa:
Growing up, my mom always wrapped the presents and set everything up for us from Santa’s visit, taking the bites out of the cookies and putting the glitter in our chimney. She went all out for us! Well, when my parents got divorced when I was in the thrid grade, and we began to have separate Christmases. My mom kept doing all the same stuff and my dad tried, but failed miserably. He used the same wrapping paper for all the presents and he didn't do a fake signature for "Santa." I was old enough to put two and two together. I still tease him about it to this day!
6. When an email mishap happened:
One year I got an iTouch for my Christmas, I was so excited I got to have an email account and everything. That's where things went wrong. My email somehow got mixed up with my dad's and I received the electronic receipt for my iTouch. Worst day ever, but I kept pretending I believed in Santa for years so I would get more Christmas presents.
7. When Santa didn't deliver:
I was around 6, and after I opened up all of my presents, I was upset that Santa didn't get me the new Barbie bike I specifically asked him for. My mom and dad told me that sometimes presents are too big for Santa to bring down the chimney (we didn't even have a chimney since we live in Florida), so he hides them in other places. They told me to check my room, so I headed in that direction. But I heard them walk out the front door, so I ran to the kitchen window, where I saw my dad unload the exact bike Santa was supposed to give me off the bed of his truck and wheel it into our garage. That's when I put two and two together. When they called me outside to tell me they found where Santa "hid" my bike, I told them that I saw them from the kitchen, and my parents just looked at each other, shrugged, and said "Well, thank God we don't have to go through the 'Santa' bullshit for any more Christmases!"
8. When there were literal receipts:
So, I open a Santa's gift on Christmas morning and it's the Harry Potter book I wanted, with the receipt inside of it. I hold it up and my mom punches my dad's arm so hard and says, "Dumbass, now I have to tell her Santa's not real." She felt so bad I got a bonus $10 to keep this from my little sister. She ended up figuring it out on her own a year later.
9. When this kid learned that they had no elf lineage:
When I was little, my parents told me that the reason my ears stuck out was because I had elf blood in me. It was only after I had an argument with a friend about it at school when I was 9 that my mum thought it was time to tell me that not only did I have no elf relatives, but that elves didn’t exist at all. She then saw this as the perfect opportunity to also tell me that the Tooth Fairy wasn’t real either. Understandably, I was really upset.
‘What’s next?’ I said. ‘You’re going to tell me that Santa doesn’t exist either?’
My parents just looked at each other without saying a word before bursting out laughing. Gutted.
10. When an Amanda Bynes movie spilled the truth:
I found out when I was 8 years old via the movie Sydney White with Amanda Bynes. At one point, Sydney says something like "Aww, it's like a kid who just found out there's no Santa Claus." Of course, I immediately kept asking my parents what she meant by that, which they tried to deflect since my younger brothers were in the room. As soon as I realized, I burst into tears. Now I just think it's hilarious.
11. When this kid knew Santa didn't work at Walmart:
A swimming Barbie doll that Santa gave me when I was about 9 years old didn't work properly and when I took it to my mom to complain, she responded, "It's okay, we'll just take it back to Walmart and exchange it." I just looked at her and said "Santa doesn't work at Walmart..." She panicked and made up some excuse about Santa allowing mommies to take broken toys back to the store but the jig was up.
12. When this little sister had no chill:
We were Christmas shopping at Target, I was 10 and my little sister was age 6, and I'm prattling on about what I want Santa to get me. My sister, being the blunt person she is, got tired of me going on and on so in the middle of the store she goes "You know Santa isn't real, right?!" I will never forget the look my mom gave her for shattering my belief. My younger sister caught on to the whole "Santa isn't real" before I ever did. I'm still embarrassed about it.
13. When this kid had to save Christmas:
I was 12 and not quite still believing, but not ready to give up on the idea he was real. My siblings were five and seven years younger than me, so Santa was still a huge deal to them. It was Christmas Eve, and both parents came down with horrible stomach flu. Guess who had to take over and make Christmas, including all Santa's gifts, etc. appear? Losing the element of surprise hurt and I've never fully enjoyed Christmas after that. And what was worse? Christmas Day I had the stomach flu and couldn't enjoy any of it at all.
14. When American Girl maybe should have thought twice:
I was about 10 and my mom had bought me an American Girl book, 101 Ways to be a Best Friend and one of the ways is to not tell your friends Santa is fake! I was confused, and then devastated. I remind my mom how she accidentally destroyed my childhood every Christmas.
15. When Santa stole dad's boots:
I was in kindergarten and “Santa” came to visit my classroom. Everything was great until the boy sitting next to my said, "Hey, I think Santa stole your dad's cowboy boots?” When it was my turn to sit on Santa’s lap I asked him why he stole my dads' boots, he laughed, and I knew it was my dad's laugh. I pulled down his beard and the whole class went crazy. I’m 30 now and I still ask my dad why he stole Santa’s boots.
16. When this kid got a cold dose of reality on Christmas Day:
You want a traumatic one? Hold my cocoa.
Like most kids, I had started having my suspicions, but chose to believe in Santa as long as I could. So, one Christmas morning when I was about 7 or 8, I'm hanging out with my mom when she goes "So, you know this was our last Christmas as a family?" I knew they had been in counseling, and I had walked in on my dad prepping my older brother on who to choose to live with. So I mutter a small, "I guess so", and my mom then decided this was the perfect time to add, "so, you've probably figured out that there's no Santa Claus?"
Yep. I found out on the same Christmas Day that my family was over as was my childhood.
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Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.