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jca2's avatar

Did you believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy, and if so, how did you find out the truth and how old were you?

Asked by jca2 (16461points) December 14th, 2023

Did you believe in Santa?

Did you believe in the Tooth Fairy?

How about the Easter Bunny?

If you did, how old were you when you found out the truth?

How did you find out?

I know some people think the whole Santa thing is a horrible offense to perpetrate upon children, so I expect some answers might say that.

I believed in all of it, and in 3rd grade, on Easter Sunday, my mom overslept and didn’t put out the baskets (yes, multiple baskets) and that’s how I found out the truth. At that time I realized that Santa was my mom, too.

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20 Answers

canidmajor's avatar

I remember believing in all, and I’m pretty sure that awareness of reality happened quietly and organically. Maybe my older sisters told me, I don’t remember. I experienced no trauma, I think I always understood that these things were wrapped up in stories and cultural traditions, and not to be taken as absolutes.
I am always sorry to hear about people who feel the whole thing is awful and trickery and betrayal, I figure it is poor parenting.

My child seemed to feel the way I did, no great betrayal, just a bit of make-believe magic.

jca2's avatar

I have to ask my daughter if she remembers how she found out. I don’t know if it was from the friends at school or some other way. I know she was often curious about how Santa could be at the mall and also at the Christmas party and do all the work he does on Christmas eve. I used to say he had helpers.

smudges's avatar

WHAT?!? You’ve dashed my entire belief system and I’m heartbroken!

jca2's avatar

@smudges Devastating, ten days before Christmas hahaha.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

No, never. I always knew the truth. I did learn that 200 years ago that Kriss Kringle was a real person in eroupe.

Entropy's avatar

I mean, of course I believed at some point. When you’re young you believe your parents. I don’t have any specific memories about Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny, but I remember my Santa moment very clearly.

My family had a tradition of a relative dressing up as Santa when we got together and coming to visit and passing out presents. I remember distinctly seeing my Uncle Bobby going upstairs, and wanting to talk to him about something (I don’t remember what). When I went to the stairs, his son Larry (who was a few years older than me) blocked me and was SUPER suspicious about getting me to not follow.

A short while later, Santa shows up, and thanks to my suspicion being up, I took a closer look than normal and realized it was Uncle Bobby. So that was my 1+1=2 moment. How old? Based on what house we were in it would have been between 7 and 10, but I can’t recall specifically.

My sister had a great moment where her belief was too strong for a mistake to break it. We were going on vacation over Xmas, and my parents wanted the santa gifts to be out by the tree when we returned so it would look like Santa arrived while we were gone. So we were lead outside while my father put them out.

Then, just before everything was shut and we were leaving, my sister decides she forgot something and runs inside before anyone can stop her. 10 seconds later, she bursts out of the house yelling “Santa knew we were going to be in Florida and came early!!!” Which I just think is adorable.

Per another part of the question – I do think we do kids a disservice when we lie to them about stuff like this. Sure, it seems harmless, but I think telling kids the truth whenever possible is the better policy. I particularly hate these ‘elf on a shelf’ type things where we try to teach kids that they’re being spied upon and stuff.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

I remember the day the house of cards came down. Kindergarten, I was told Santa was not real and a lightbulb went off. “It all makes sense now.” The Easter bunny, Tooth fairy, God and Jesus all instantly were unmasked as frauds. Then I remember telling dad I knew and he was like, “there is a harsh penalty if you tell your sisters” I remember thinking: “There had better be some good shit under the tree and in my Easter basket from now on…”

Forever_Free's avatar

What do you mean by DID or “find out the truth”?

There should be a spoiler alert if they aren’t real!

Demosthenes's avatar

I don’t know; people always speak so dramatically about this, as if there has to be a moment when your world shatters and illusions and childhood wonder come to a grinding halt. I just vaguely remember thinking it was all real when I was little and then, later on, knowing my parents were behind it. There was no “scales falling from my eyes” moment. But then, I was a very boring child. :P

Kropotkin's avatar

My experience was just like @Demosthenes

At some point my dad just stopped trying to convince me that he saw Santa flying overhead, and stop pretending that it was Santa that planted the presents in the room while I wasn’t looking.

Then I got older and didn’t really think about it, and it was like I had never believed any of it in the first place—though I know I once had.

ragingloli's avatar

No. Never had imaginary friends, either.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess I was about 9. I was the oldest of 3 kids….and just became aware. I remember sitting on my folk’s bed, kind of knawing my cheek, then I finally just came out with it.
“Santa isn’t real, is he.”
There was a collective sigh and they said “No, he isn’t. But now that you know you can help us make the magic for the little kids.”.....

Dutchess_III's avatar

I guess I had an imaginary friend named Mackwards. Don’t really remember him tho.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

It’s different if you just gradually figure it out than being told prematurely. I don’t know which is better. If gradually figuring it out or being told early makes you question the world more.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I never considered it lying.

JLeslie's avatar

I believed in the tooth fairy.

Santa was more vague, I believed in him, but he didn’t come to my house, so he wasn’t magical directly to me, and my parents never talked about Santa. I only knew about Santa from TV shows and movies and if friends talked about Santa gifts.

I had no idea the Easter bunny brought gifts until I was in my 40’s working for someone who hid gifts and eggs for their kids on Easter and told them the Easter Bunny did it. I grew up thinking the Easter Bunny was justa fun character like a cartoon or plush toy. I used to go to Easter Egg Hunts as a young girl and I loved it, but I didn’t think a bunny had hidden the eggs, is that what some of the children might have been thinking? My grandpa used to give me chocolate bunnies.

I was around 8 years old when I asked my mom if the tooth fairy was real. I don’t remember how or why I asked. My mom was happy to tell me it was her and hand me the money instead. Less work.

I think doing Santa and the Tooth Fairy for kids is just fine, and I don’t think of it as lying.

cookieman's avatar

Yes to all three.

I don’t recall any revelation about the Tooth Faery. I just stopped thinking about them after I got all my permanent teeth.

Easter Bunny went out the window when I overheard my two aunts discussing while placing completed baskets on a high shelf in the pantry.

I began to doubt Santa after a kid in my neighborhood told me he wasn’t real and he heard it from his older brother. I think I asked my parents about a month or so later and they told me the truth.

JLeslie's avatar

I have a friend who told her kids once you stop believing in Santa he stops coming.

KRD's avatar

I’d say around 10 or 11 years but I am not sure.

longgone's avatar

I probably believed in all three, but I don’t remember truly believing in Santa. I bet I did, and just don’t have that memory anymore. I do know that I had a stuffed Rudolph who could sing the song, and he was pretty magical to me. I had a sled for him to pull and played with him year-round.

I have a strong memory of the tooth fairy – or rather, the “Milchzahnmaus” (“milk tooth mouse”). Not sure if this is just a thing in my local culture or in all of Germany, but when I lost my first tooth, I got not just a coin, but a present: a bear with a hood that I really liked. I think I stopped believing in magical beings interested in teeth when I was around eight, because my parents forgot to deposit the coin.

I believed in the Easter Bunny and remember being around five and lying in my parents bed. It was dark, but a car passed outside, and the headlights lit up part of the room. I saw the shadow of a small animal moving across the room. I’m pretty sure it was the cat, but at the time I was certain I had seen the Easter Bunny. The shadow still has long ears in my memory.

I remember that when I stopped believing in magical creatures (probably around nine for the last remnants), I didn’t tell my parents. I wanted to keep believing the stories, and I was always worried I was growing up too fast. Also, there were often younger kids around, and I definitely didn’t want to spoil it for them. While I was wistful about the memories, I wasn’t shocked. It was a gradual shift. I think it helped that my mum, whenever I asked her if the creatures were real, said that they’re part of a story and that they’re real for everyone who believes. I didn’t really understand how true that is at the time, but it made me feel like believing (or not) was my choice and that either one was all right.

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