Home > Christmas, Fun Childhood, My Dad, My Mom, Ohio, Silliness, Things I Actually Like > The Time I Stopped Believing in Santa Claus

The Time I Stopped Believing in Santa Claus

December 26, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments


I’m not sure at what age I actually stopped believing, but it was fairly early.

Perhaps it was seeing the stress in my parents’ eyes as they took trip after trip to the mall for “just a couple of things.” Maybe it was noticing mysterious packages being brought into the house, draped in bath towels. But most likely it was when I managed to discover my parents’ hoard of presents each and every year.

They tried so hard to hide them from us kids, but they always kept all the gifts in one location. When they tried to break up the hiding spaces, they inevitably forgot about a few, which meant we discovered still-wrapped presents years after the fact, stuffed into a bathroom cabinet or lurking beneath a 24-pack of toilet paper.

I made a game of this every year, poking into every nook and cranny of the house until I found the mother load. My parents, aware that I did this, made sure to wrap all the presents immediately so that at least some surprise would still remain intact. I found presents in crawl spaces, behind pipes, behind shoe racks, under dressers, and more. I’d give a cry of triumph, then carefully cover the gifts again.

But I remember one year my parents picked a particularly bad hiding space. I had a little private fort area in the back of my mom’s closet, behind the clothing rack. Since this closet was right by the sloping roof of the attic, there was a small triangular space behind the dresses and coats, and I lined it with pillows, lights, books, and snacks. If I felt overwhelmed by the world (which was frequently), I could retreat to my secret space, and read and munch until I felt calm again.

Somehow, amazingly, my parents never knew about this space of mine. I suppose they never removed enough clothing to see the club house I had set up back there. And yet one year, I went back to read a book, and lo and behold the entire space was filled with Christmas presents! How they managed to place all of these gifts without noticing all my stuff, I’ll never know, but I discovered the presents VERY early that year. Honestly, it kind of took a lot of the fun out of the season since I had to stare at the gifts every day. I would wedge myself between the stacked presents and the wall, and continue to read and sip on my juice boxes. I eyed the gifts with suspicion and jealousy – they had taken my spot! My one secret space!

Not to say I didn’t enjoy eventually opening them, but frankly, I was glad when they were gone.

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