Social Question

rangerr's avatar

How did you find out Santa wasn't real?

Asked by rangerr (15765points) December 3rd, 2009

You know that moment in time when our childhood froze and we were pretty pissed off kids.. how did it happen?

I found out when I was 3 and noticed that my mom and Santa had the same wrapping paper. I told her to stop lying.

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81 Answers

beautifulbobby193's avatar

Gradually in the schoolyard I would say. I don’t ever remember any moment when it hit me hard. I was a lot older than 3 though. I think these days kids find out a lot quicker as there is far greater access to information.

Phobia's avatar

I found out when I woke up on Christmas Eve and “wanted some water”. I walked in the living room while they were putting the presents under the tree. I was probably about 5 or 6 at the time, but I can’t really recall.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

He isn’t???!!!

J0E's avatar

Found out from friends at school, I don’t remember being too upset.

erichw1504's avatar


Parrappa's avatar

Critical thinking. I had to put on my thinking cap for that one though.

erichw1504's avatar

No, but seriously. I pretty much figured it out from the same way you did @rangerr and by logically thinking: “How could Santa deliver presents to billions of children around the world in one night?” I mean, come on!

Gokey's avatar

During gym class in the fourth grade, we had a substitute teacher on the last day before winter break. As huddled around him at the end of class doing our cool down exercises, he told us to have a good Christmas and to remember to leave cookies out for Santa. Then, he said with a chuckle, “Oh, shucks, you guys have probably already figured out that Santa isn’t real by now, you’re almost fifth graders – probably put two and two together when you recognized your parent’s handwriting, huh?”

This was followed by several gasps of horror – including my own.

grumpyfish's avatar

Wait, what?

RedPowerLady's avatar

We suspected it quite a bit from an early age but chose to continue believing. We heard adults slip up. Presents would come before Christmas and we’d ask why Santa brought them so early, those type of things.

But it wasn’t till I was quite old when I saw a present before it was wrapped and then later it came from Santa that I was fully aware that even if I chose to believe in him, he wasn’t real. By that time I was old enough to accept it. Me and my sister had a good laugh and vent about it (as we discovered together).

of course i maintain that it isn’t ‘lying’ but rather perpetuating make believe which i believe is healthy for childhood growth based on my understanding of child development but we’ve already had that discussion on fluther, lol

hearkat's avatar

I don’t recall the details, I just know that my older brothers ruined it for me.

My son was 6, and some of his classmates had stopped believing… so we were at the mall doing some shopping and at the checkout counter was a cool yo-yo he admired. With a little distraction, I purchased it without him knowing. That evening at our neighborhood Christmas party, Santa brought it to him! He was amazed!!

So our family tradition is to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, and then Santa came and brought presents for the kids while they slept. That year, Santa brought an awesome skateboard! Unfortunately, one of the chucks was defective, so a couple says later when he told me about it, I said I’d get the receipt… and he said, “If Santa brought me the skateboard, why do you have a receipt?” I blew it. :-(

rangerr's avatar

@hearkat Aww. You should have told him Santa leaves the receipts in case. Elves aren’t perfect at purchasing perfect parts, y’know.

absalom's avatar

I suspected it myself. I don’t know what or who planted the seed of doubt, but it was planted early. My parents continued to sign the presents “From: Santa” long after I’d accepted that he wasn’t real, so they definitely weren’t to blame. I just can’t remember a time not being skeptical about his existence. But I felt so much better when I learned he was supposed to be based on a real person.

FishGutsDale's avatar

My 4th grade teacher let the cat out of the bag. I didn’t let on that I knew cos my little brother still believed. That Christmas BLEW hahaha. Memories.

Supacase's avatar

Some brat on the bus told me that the Easter bunny wasn’t real. I didn’t say anything at home, but I asked my grandma the next time I was at her house. She called Mom and gave me the phone. I made sure to ask about Santa and the tooth fairy while I was at it.

rangerr's avatar

@FishGutsDale So you had to pretend?

J0E's avatar

@FishGutsDale. I had the same situation with my two younger sisters. I thought it was pretty fun to be on the other side of it.

FishGutsDale's avatar

@rangerr I totally had to pretend! hahah and i am a baaaad actor at the best of times. @J0E I did a christmas or two after but the first one after i found out was bitter. I hate lies haha.

avvooooooo's avatar


ratboy's avatar


avvooooooo's avatar

What YOU don’t know there missy is that your mother is a SSO. That’s right, a Special Santa Operative. He admires her gift wrapping skills soooo much that he sends her your gifts early and a lot of others besides when the elves get backed up like when the Tickle Me Elmos weren’t just given two test tickles… That kind of thing.. When you’re sleeping, she’s up all night wrapping for Santa. She puts alllllll those gifts in a little magical bag that they all fit in shortly before daylight and the elves swoop by and pick it up and leave her another, some more supplies and a biiigggg pot of coffee so she can make it through the day. What YOU don’t know is that your gifts are wrapped in OFFICIAL NORTH POLE CERTIFIED WRAPPING PAPER. Which is why Santa gifts are in the same paper.

So there!

Grisaille's avatar

When I realized we didn’t have a chimney.

ModernEpicurian's avatar

To be honest I worked it out myself from a young age. Santa? A crazy old man that delivers packages to children? Just letting himself into houses in the dead of night?

The way I saw it he would be in prison. Much more likely that there was a worldwide conspiracy to get the younger population to believe in a fictional character.

buckyboy28's avatar

I’m a Jew, so it was common knowledge to me and my Hebrew brethren. I remember ruining plenty of Christian kid’s childhoods by breaking the news to them.

dpworkin's avatar

By virtue of having been born a Jew.

Facade's avatar

I never thought he was real. My parents didn’t lie to me~

grumpyfish's avatar

So, apparently I found out when someone asked this question on Fluther… just now.

Thanks =)

J0E's avatar

Can this please not turn into a “my parents don’t lie to me” debate?

Haleth's avatar

@rangerr That’s how I found out, too! My parents are divorced, but santa brought me presents at both houses. And both my mom and my dad had the same wrapping paper as Santa, but different wrapping paper from each other. Even a three-year-old can do that detective work.

rangerr's avatar

@avvooooooo I’m never being your nanny. Liar, liar pants on fire!

avvooooooo's avatar

@rangerr She DID lie to you… to protect the secret!

You will too. Don’t lie. We’ve got those off duty plans you don’t want to miss out on.

rangerr's avatar

@avvooooooo om nom nom!

Except I’m making sure your kids believe forever.

ragingloli's avatar

I don’t think I ever believed him to be real.

avvooooooo's avatar

@rangerr They have to! ‘Cause he’s REAL! :D

arnbev959's avatar

I was seven or eight when I figured it out. I already had my suspicions, but I wasn’t ready to admit them.

My parents put the presents out too early in the night. They must have thought I was sleeping, but I wasn’t.

The next morning was pretty lame. It’s one thing to find out at some other time of the year, but to discover for yourself on Christmas Eve, after leaving milk and cookies out for Santa (and a carrot for Rudolph and a candy cane for Santa to bring home to Mrs. Claus,) who you really believe is on his way, flying through the sky in his sleigh, and then to wake up on Christmas morning knowing that those stale half-eaten cookies were eaten by your own father, who exclaims now with false enthusiasm how Santa must have been in such a rush that he didn’t have time to finish eating them, is really dispiriting. A once magical, sparkling experience had, in the course of a night, gone completely flat. Not a good way to find out.

RedPowerLady's avatar


“and a carrot for Rudolph and a candy cane for Santa to bring home to Mrs. Claus,”

Way Too Cute!!

J0E's avatar

I’m surprised so many people were so upset when they found this out. I don’t recall being sad or anything. I still got presents, which probably helped a lot, and I felt special to know the secret.

poofandmook's avatar

my grandpa used to play Santa at a small fairy tale park in the forest that we had in our town.. Christmas was huge for this place.. and ever since I could remember, I always said, “Santa looks like grandpa. And he sounds like grandpa. And he SMELLS like grandpa.” But my family always told me it wasn’t. Then one time I was in the back seat of the car with my grandmother and my father and she said to him, “I have to hurry up and get home so I can get Ted to Fairy Tale Forest to do Santa”

And then she remembered I was in the back seat. LOL

Dr_C's avatar

I caught my uncle taking off the Santa hat and beard.. craking open a beer and kissing my aunt.

Edit: My original answer was going to be “I turned 9”... but then i remembered about my uncle dressing up every year and then finding out….

aprilsimnel's avatar

I was never led to believe he was real to begin with.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Dr_C “I caught mommy kissing Santa clause…” One of my favorite Christmas Carols.

kevbo's avatar

My mom told me that either the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy weren’t real and I deduced the rest. I was maybe 7. No biggie.

YARNLADY's avatar

In our house “Santa Claus” was always presented as a legend of a very nice man who spread good cheer. There was nothing to “find out”.

Dr_C's avatar

@RedPowerLady I used to play that for my uncle all the time. I still remember him whenever I hear it.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Dr_C That made me smile :)

Dr_C's avatar

There’s a lot of stories here, some funny some kinda anti-climactic… but it could always be worse people! It could have happened like this.

kevbo's avatar


janbb's avatar

I’m Jewish – Santa was never real.

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

I sorta always knew… probably because Santa and my mother had both the same wrapping paper and the same handwriting. Sigh.

fireinthepriory's avatar

My mom bought a roll of “Santa” wrapping paper, but she couldn’t change her handwriting. That’s how I figured it out. :)

Kade13's avatar

When I attacked that fat guy in the red suit for not bringing me what i wanted.. people kept screaming “HES NOT THE REAL SANTA” “SANTA’S NOT REAL!!” it took a little while to hear them over his screams

XOIIO's avatar

Santa isn’t real?

MissAusten's avatar

I was about 7 years old, and shortly before Christmas found a big box of toys in the spare bedroom closet. When my brother and I later received those same toys from Santa, I knew for sure. I’d been suspicious for a while. I don’t remember being upset by it or anything, and the way my mom explained it to me when I asked was kind of cool. She said, “Santa Claus is the good feeling you get when you give someone a gift without expecting anything in return.” She did have her good moments!

My daughter lasted a bit longer. She was almost 9, and seemed very suspicious of Santa. I got the impression that she was pretty sure Santa wasn’t real, but didn’t want to say anything and lose out on the fun. After Christmas, when all of her gifts were safely stowed away, she outright asked me and I told her the same thing my mom had told me. I was worried she might get upset, but instead she got this huge grin and said, “So all those awesome presents I thought were from Santa, were from you and Daddy?” It was the best response I could imagine. It didn’t hurt that “Santa” had given her a pet rabbit that year. Now she feels cool because she gets to help keep the fun alive for her little brothers. :)

XOIIO's avatar

LOL I never believed

RedPowerLady's avatar

@MissAusten Same way for us :) But I was much older, lol.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I think I was 9. I’d gotten an Etch-a-Sketch that had a note from Santa taped to it. I immediately recognized my step-dad’s handwriting and that was the end of Santa.

RedPowerLady's avatar

Is my family the only one who had “explanations” for everything?

The Santas in malls are just ‘Santa’s helpers’.
Presents arrive early because mom asked Santa to and he likes us so much he agreed.
Santa asked you to write the note (why? who knows maybe he is a bad speller for example..)
My family had an explanation for every slip up.

irocktheworld's avatar

Santa isn’t real????

sliceswiththings's avatar

Even walking in on my mom putting the presents under the tree didn’t make me suspect for a second.

I thought I heard Santa so I snuck down to see him, but it was just my mom. I asked, “Mom are you trying to see Santa too?” and she said, “Um…no. Go back to bed.” So I said “Okay!” and went back upstairs.

I’m not sure how I eventually found out (didn’t give up on the idea completely til like junior high) but I blame my older brother..

avvooooooo's avatar

My mother got me to dress up as an elf one year and come up to her primary school to hand out candy canes with a Santa. So we did it and kids were asking me why my ears weren’t pointy. I told them I had my ear disguises on so that I could go around town spying for Santa. A few days later there was a kid who was being bad in a store in town… after he got a good look at me and I gave him a look, he straightened his little butt up! I thought he looked like a primary school kid, but I knew for sure then! :D I’m not sure that’s the only one this worked on, I think that there was something going on in the grocery store one day that I wasn’t paying as much attention to as I was marking things off on my grocery list but… :D

@RedPowerLady He has carpal tunnel from all the list writing.

tinyfaery's avatar

Wrapping paper: same
Writing on tags: same

My bitchy older sister confirmed my suspicions; I was 6 or 7.

sliceswiththings's avatar

Guys? The wrapping paper’s the same because Santa brings the presents unwrapped! Once he’s there he sets up your card table and uses the wrapping paper that’s lying around your house.
Come on, parents, there’s an easy explanation.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@sliceswiththings Agreed that there is an easy explanation. I like the one above about it being special Santa wrapping paper so mom wanted to use it for everything, haha (or something like that)

grumpyfish's avatar

This is going to be the




RedPowerLady's avatar

@grumpyfish Don’t worry Santa is Real. It’s just that adults who quit believing never see him. They lose their magic and muck things up for everyone else. So to them he isn’t real but to those who truly believe and to innocent children he is still very real. ;)

Christian95's avatar

Kindergarten.Every year near Christmas Eve my class made some kind of A Christmas show and of course every time Santa was coming to us to give us presents.And I noticed something strange:every time my teacher and Santa Claus were leaving together.In my last year of kindergarten I followed them and I saw “Santa Claus” taking of his suite.And this is how I find That Santa Claus doesn’t exist but I wasn’t to affected.

ThomasJames's avatar

My parents really had me sold on on the idea of Santal..until one year on Christmas day I went down to look for my presents and they weren’t there. So I asked my mom “where’s my gifts from Santa?” She just laughed and told me Santa wasn’t real. What a nice way to break the news of Santa not being real to your child.

Haleth's avatar

@Kade13 That reminds me of the Boondocks, when Riley yelled, “Santa, you better PAY WHAT YOU OWE!”

poofandmook's avatar

@Haleth: That’s a bitch move, Santa! SinSURLY yours, the Santa Stalker

evegrimm's avatar

I realised it after I found out that the Easter Bunny wasn’t real…not a large jump to Santa.

(My mom had had a long night before Easter and hadn’t had a chance to hide any Easter eggs…talk about disappointment! I was pretty young, too.)

mattbrowne's avatar

Well, I found out that Santa was real when I was about 25. Before that I hadn’t heard of Saint Nicholas of Myra and his passion for secret gift giving.

LeotCol's avatar

I bluffed when I was ten. On christmas day I said thanks to my parents to test them…and they were like…what? you don’t believe in Santa anymore? I said no (I really did at that point) and they were like…awh ok well I guess your growing up then. That night was cold…and lonely

avvooooooo's avatar

Oooohhh… Some of you are gonna be in TROUBLE in a couple of days! No presents for you!

janbb's avatar

@avvooooooo There you go with those “OOOOOOs” again.

avvooooooo's avatar

@janbb Its the avvooooooo™. :D

janbb's avatar

@avvooooooo Have you ever read the book The Wonderful O by James Thurber? You would looooove it.

avvooooooo's avatar

@janbb I will put it on my list to read!

warribbons's avatar

I was 5 years old. When I came back from school, I told my parents I wanted to stay up to see santa for real.

so my dad says, “do you know who santa is?”
-“he’s a big jolly fellow in red!”
“i am santa.”
-“oh okay.”

avvooooooo's avatar

SHIT! He triggered the Santa trap, escaped, ate the cookies, wrote me a note saying

You’re gonna have to do better than that.
Better luck next year!

and left. I was totally going to prove to you all that he does exist!

ambergardner123's avatar

I had always been told by my friends and other kids that Santa was not real, but I always refused to believed them. It wasn’t until I was about 10 or 11 that I gave up believing that he may be real. :/ My parents claim they believe in him, which is kinda hard to believe; they’re always like, ’‘if you don’t believe in Santa and the Christmas spirit, you won’t get any presents from him!’’. I mean, all these parents around the world are beginning to tell their children that Santa isn’t real, so why in my parents’ case would he?! They’re terrible liars!

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