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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

When We Stopped Believing

Santa Claus, the tantalizing figure that has enchanted both the hearts and imaginations of children around the world. 

With his distinctive white beard, his bright red suit, and his jolly demeanor, Saint Nicholas is the embodiment of goodwill and holiday magic. Come December, he is front and center in every movie, every commercial, and every shopping mall. 

Children’s infatuation with the iconic character seems endless, but mournfully, the whimsy of Santa Claus does not last forever. 

Christmas takes on many different forms depending on who is celebrating it. Different traditions and practices result in different experiences regarding a child’s belief in Santa Claus. This brings about an expansive variation in both ages and means at which children detect that the beloved Father Christmas is a lie. 

After surveying the Los Osos campus and receiving 75 differing inputs on the myth-busting of Santa Claus, I was able to compile an outline of different responses. 

The age range of the interviewees ranged from five to 12. The majority of respondents learned the truth at 11 years old, with 31 students providing that answer. The other 44 provided scattered statistics within that span. 

To my surprise, six students revealed that they found out at the age of five. This response astonished me; in my personal experience, five years old was when I experienced the most Christmas magic. It was the first time I was truly able to comprehend the fascinating concept of Santa Claus and the good morals he promoted. 

My surprise later turned to the aforementioned realization that nobody celebrates Christmas the same way. Everybody provides a unique twist to the holiday, resulting in one of the most fruitful celebrations of the year.

Junior Sophia Sedano, one of the few interviewees who found out at five, revealed her oddly casual enlightenment on the topic, she said, “When I was five years old, during Christmas time when Santa Claus was everywhere you looked, my mom decided to be brutally honest with me. She told me that Santa Claus was not a real person who rides a magic sleigh and slides down chimneys delivering presents. She explained that instead, he was a metaphor for the true meaning of Christmas; love, hope, joy, and family.”

The age factor was already intriguing, but the different ways in which we found out about Santa Claus were even more compulsive.

Unfortunately, over half of the subjects disclosed that the news was broken to them at ill-suited times by family members, peers, and the internet. Many expressed their disdain, claiming that the magic of Christmas was unsolicitedly stolen from them at such a young age.

The rest of the denomination was split up into two- those who found out at appropriate times and those who claimed to never believe in the first place.

For some, it was a devastating, trauma-inducing experience, and for others, it was an exceptionally easy pill to swallow. No matter how we find out about the lie that is Santa Claus, it is all an experience that can bring us closer together. 

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