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The Funny Way 20 People Learned the Truth About Santa Claus

Equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious, 20 people confess how they learned the truth about Santa Claus.

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broken candy canePhoto: Stas Knop/Shutterstock

So, that happened

“I was in second grade, and everyone at my table was saying how they knew Santa wasn’t real,” Reddit user Lukgaming recounts. The thing was, up until that very moment, Lukgaming thought Santa was real. “I pretended my parents told me too… while I held back the tears.”

This story, and all the stories here, was handpicked by our friends at Reddit from among these stories of how people found out Santa wasn’t real and how old people were when they found out Santa wasn’t real.

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Tangled Christmas lightsPhoto: Hannamariah/Shutterstock

Use your imagination

“I was one of those kids who secretly still half-believed up to an embarrassing age,” admits TheSleepyTeacher, “and my best friend outright believed”…until their sixth grade teacher gave them an assignment: to write a thank you letter to Santa, despite that, as the teacher said, “he’s just imaginary.” TheSleepyTeacher wasn’t surprised, but as for her the friend? Shattered.

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Broken christmas ball isolated on whitePhoto: HANA/Shutterstock

Kill-joy was here

“My first-grade teacher was so hateful,” says HiltoperTA, “that as a punishment to the class for not listening to her, she sat us down in a circle like she was going to read us a story, but instead, she told us Santa’s not real.”

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Melted Snowman on a LawnPhoto: Lenscap Photography/Shutterstock

We all learn different stuff from Judy Blume, apparently

Many Gen Xers learned a lot about life from the children’s author, Judy Blume, from training bras to gossip to falling in love for the first time. But for Errokay77, the big learning lesson from Ms. Blume was that Santa isn’t real. Errokay77 had suspicions before that, but upon reading Blume’s Superfudge, well, that was the aha moment.

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Cracked ice in strange patternPhoto: mikrin/Shutterstock

So that’s who’s been eating all the Christmas cookies

Pity poor mobsterBsoulsmack because at the age of eight, when he went outside looking for his dad on Christmas Eve, he found Santa instead. And not even the real Santa, but rather Dad’s chubby friend, Robert. Apparently, there is no Santa! And that’s how the Christmas cookie crumbled.

Revive your holiday cheer with this child’s adorable letter to Santa!

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Hole ripped in red paper on green background. Copy spacePhoto: STILLFX/Shutterstock

Handwriting analysis

Aquietobserver found out the truth about Santa Claus using forensic science. Or more particularly, handwriting analysis: Santa’s handwritten notes were looking suspiciously like they’d been written by… Dad.

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The lost children's woolen glove lies on the white snow. Winter backgroundPhoto: Vteple/Shutterstock

Wise child

“I recognized my uncle beneath the beard,” Kantsoos recalls. And there was nothing anyone could say because… well, it was the uncle, and… wait for it… Santa isn’t real.

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Broken Christmas Toy. Crashed bauble. Damages Gorgeous glass peacock on pink background.Photo: Inna Reznik/Shutterstock

The Christmas pageant blues

Small towns can be sweet and homey. But the risk is that everyone knows everyone. That’s how Originalwookie (and probably every child in Originalwookie‘s entire town) discovered Santa wasn’t real. Apparently, the guy who played “Santa” in town was unmistakable under the disguise.

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Surreal broken snowflakes.Photo: MarcelClemens/Shutterstock

The dark side of demonstrating an early aptitude for physics

One day at about age seven, Maybebaby415 took a look at the chimney and realized there was no way Santa could fit down it. When Maybebaby415 asked Mom, Mom was so impressed with Maybebaby415‘s clear aptitude for science, and in particular, physics, she found she could not lie.

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picture of a chocolate santa claus. studio shot, holiday conceptPhoto: agrofruti/Shutterstock

What did we tell you about cussing?

Santa would leave a Christmas stocking at the foot of Boxjellyblues‘s bed in time for Christmas morning. “One year, when I was about six, Santa bumped into my bedroom door in the dark.” The voice shouting “Oh, [bleep]” was unmistakably Boxjellyblues‘s dad.

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Broken Christmas Tree Ornament Ball on Blue Background. Splinters Glittering. Luck Hope Concept. Superstition.Photo: Olinda/Shutterstock

Secrets and lies

“When I first started reading, I had a habit of learning all sorts of inappropriate information from books,” confesses Dr_Methanphetamine. When the user read somewhere that Santa wasn’t real, he confronted Mom, only to be told, “Yeah, it’s true, but you better keep pretending so your sister doesn’t find out.” Thus began one of the deepest, darkest episodes of the user’s childhood. OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but keeping that secret was a lot harder than his mom probably guessed.

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Four frowning male and female gingerbread cookies broken into pieces.Photo: iofoto/Shutterstock

Insult to injury

“I stayed up all night peeping under my door,” Gibbs 2724 recalls. “I had a clear view of the tree when I spotted Pops unloading the goods.” That had to hurt. But not as much as the fact that Pop didn’t even eat the cookies the family had left for him. “He just crumbled them a little and threw pieces away.”

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Background of gold long tinselPhoto: Arukhan Boztay/Shutterstock

Not a good hiding place

One year, TheyUsedtheLampPoost got a bike for Christmas. From Santa, of course. But then one day soon after, TheyUsedtheLampPost saw the bike’s instruction manual sitting on a shelf in the hall closet, and that was the tipoff because it’s the spot his parents always hid stuff.

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Broken Christmas ornament with wrapping paper and ribbon.Photo: Kippy Spilker/Shutterstock

An unexpected reaction

Southagermican was just a wee child of four when he spied his dad sneaking into his room with a big package. “I pretended to be asleep, and the next morning I pretended to still believe because I thought it was important for my parents that I believed it.” And Southagermican was actually happy to know it was his parents picking out his gifts, as opposed to a stranger.

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Wrapping PaperPhoto: Derek Hatfield/Shutterstock

Another way to keep your kids from finding out Santa’s not real

What’s the best way to ensure your kids will never find out Santa isn’t real? Never let them believe it in the first place. That’s what OnlySane1‘s parents did.

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Train accidentPhoto: harmpeti/Shutterstock

They forgot to tell him the most important part

Batben93 was told by his family as soon as he was old enough to understand, that Santa wasn’t real. What they forgot to tell him was that everyone else in his kindergarten class thought Santa was real and that he might cause a problem when he walked into the classroom and announced, “Santa isn’t real and that’s a fact.” Oops.

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Empty gift box on a wooden backgroundPhoto: Dmitry Zimin/Shutterstock

That awkward moment when Grandpa’s a snitch

“The year I found out Santa wasn’t real I had planned to hide my tape recorder under the sofa so I could get him on tape,” says Blu3Army73. The problem was that Blu3Army73 confided in his grandpa, who told his dad. The next morning there were no presents under the tree. Instead, there was a letter from Santa saying he didn’t bring presents for kids who didn’t believe in him. Grandpa! How could you!

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pine needlesPhoto: BUTENKOV ALEKSEI/Shutterstock

But Santa is real

“Santa is real,” explains monowedge. Or he was. “He may have died long ago, but he was a real guy. The only thing that isn’t real about Santa is the myths surrounding him, but the tradition of today follows that of a real person.”

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milk in a bottlePhoto: chris_tina/Shutterstock

In all fairness, we did say, “spoiler alert…”

“My age today, you heartless spoiler,” wrote Erasmuslongfellow, in reply to the question: “How old were you when you learned the truth that Santa wasn’t real?”

Here are nine surprising pieces of Christmas trivia you never knew.

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Two whole Christmas toys and shattered red Christmas toy lies on white snowPhoto: Vasily Gamayunov/Shutterstock

Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt

“I don’t understand this question, and I don’t want to understand it,” wrote Redditor Asoupo. Well, denial is an effective defense mechanism.

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Reader's Digest
Originally Published on Reader's Digest