Shattered Belief

The following is a story that I submitted to The Green Study’s funny Christmas Story contest.  I found out about it through C4C, Company For Christmas, when Michelle of The Green Study and I met.  And I won 2nd Prize!  See Michelle’s post here for the other winners.

Thanks, Michelle for hosting the contest and for being part of C4C!

*     *     *

Jacob was 8 years old, and still believed in Santa with all his heart.  No matter how many of his friends showed him just why Santa couldn’t possibly be real, Jacob found it in his heart to believe.

It was getting awkward.  He was 8, and big for his age.  Nobody else in his class still believed.

It was 1999, and my husband, John, our 8 year old son Jacob and I were living in Geneva, Switzerland, where English language books were extremely expensive.  So naturally, in early December, Jacob’s teacher announced that the entire class needed to get a particular and particularly expensive dictionary by the beginning of 2000 for home use.  Locally it was tres cher.  But we found it for a reasonable price on  Being good parents, we ordered it.

It arrived two days before Christmas.  And on Christmas Eve, I wrapped it up.

“I’ll take the hit for this one,” I told my husband, knowing that Jacob would not appreciate getting a dictionary for Christmas.

“Nah,” said John.  “Mark it from Santa.”

I didn’t think much about it, but I followed John’s suggestion.  Santa had another gift for Jacob.

When Christmas morning arrived, Jacob got great gifts from Santa:  an electric car race track, skiis and one more present.

Feels like a book,” Jacob said, eagerly opening it.  And then he looked at the cover.

“There’s no such thing as Santa.”  Jacob cried.  “Santa would never have given me a dictionary.”


Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Childhood Traumas, Family, Geneva Stories, Humor

60 responses to “Shattered Belief

  1. Great story Elyse! I was at a friend’s house over the holidays and she asked me to write notes to her kids from Santa thanking them for the cookies – she thought my handwriting might just trick them for another year. I was happy to participate in the deception:)

  2. If you ever need backup on proving Santa, I can point you to some proofs for how Santa can cover the whole world, AND fit through chimneys. All proved by physicists. Or catch “Family Guy” and their Christmas episode featuring the great musical number “Christmas Time Is Killing Us”. Fun either way! :D

  3. Jacob’s response is priceless …. yet let’s await the day when he understands that Santa is real. :)

  4. Since you were in Switzerland, you could have dressed up like Santa and then dipped him in a vat of chocolate. He might have had a different perspective on what Santa will and won’t do…

  5. HAHAHAHA!!! This is brilliant!! And good on you re the prize–well-deserved! I love your stories!

  6. Congrats on a win. Loved the story, too right silly Santa a Dictionary meh.

    • It was a really nice, hardcover dictionary with pictures, though. It was a treasure. Really.

      He doesn’t believe that either. John and I have both said that we’d have loved to get that book at that age. But then, perhaps not from Santa.

  7. Congrats! Loved this story. My son is ten and still fully believes. Now all I have to remember is to give him a dictionary if I want to burst his Santa bubble. I don’t have the heart to yet, though. Maybe if he’s 15 and still believes?/

    • He’s ten? Don’t the other kids make fun of him? That’s one of the reasons we’d decided it was time and planned to break the news to him a bit after Christmas.

      John and I had agreed that John would give the sex talk and I’d break the news about Santa. Jacob had “popped” the sex question to me the previous summer, and then discovered Santa through a dictionary. John totally won. I’ve never forgiven him for weaseling out of the two hardest parenthood discussions.

      • I think he’s going to figure it out soon. He told me one of his friends said there is no Santa. His other friends all still believe.

        My main concern? My son will tell Julia and she’s only six. (like my older brother told me when I was around 7) I want her to have at least another year of Santa.

        As for the sex talk? My son knows a little… I think. I don’t really want to know if he knows. I’ll leave that for Jim to handle.

        • The thing is you don’t get to pick the moment. At least I didn’t. Jacob just informed me he knew how babies came about as I was trying to not hit a concrete post in a parking lot (I succeeded). I never felt comfortable answering a question with “ask your Dad”

          I guess I did ok, though. He now has a girlfriend.

  8. Kid wisdom is so entertaining isn’t it? Great story.

  9. Hi,
    A great story, it did bring on a smile. :)

  10. Congrats, and that was hilarious.

  11. Just heard about you from The Green Study. What a fun story!

  12. Clinton


  13. My daughter held onto Santa for an extra year too because Santa brings the gifts you want.

  14. Great story Elyse! I’m sure Jacob has been reminded many times over the years…because that’s what non-Santa’s do.

  15. GOF

    It’s memories such as this that make parenthood so rewarding. Thanks for sharing it…..and Jacob was right, Santa’s sleigh would have been seriously overloaded if he was giving dictionaries to every child.

    • Hardback dictionaries at that, GOF. Those poor reindeer!

      And you’re right — you need to have these moments to laugh at so that you don’t move across the country without notice.

  16. Aww…great story, Elyse! And wasn’t that the boy with the Santa Claus spirit who made some employee’s day, when he answered the question “How’s my driving?” and then some?

    • Thanks, Georgette. And yes, it was the same guy. He has a sweet streak that he tries to hide, but it comes out. I’m not sure it was in evidence on this particular Christmas, though!

  17. Great story! I laughed out loud!
    One of my kids held onto the Santa thing for an extra year because when a friend told him that all those toys came from parents, he replied, “Not MY Dad. He’d never spend that much money on toys!”

  18. twindaddy

    Hahaha! Santa would never give me socks and underwear, either, but he did so anyway on a yearly basis. Silly Santa.

    • Can you believe he’d do such things? Dictionaries, socks, underwear? What sort of twisted man IS Santa?

      • twindaddy

        Well, he sees me when I’m sleeping and knows when I’m awake…so I’d say he’s some kind of creepy stalker. And a really good stalker, too. How does he know what size I wear? I need to improve my home security system, methinks.

        • Just check the chimney.

          We had thought Jacob would figure it out when he was about 3-1/2. We went to England (in about March) and he kept looking at the small pipe-type chimneys saying, “How Does Santa do it?” He was satisfied with “Magic” as the answer. We should have told him then — it would have been less traumatic!

          • twindaddy

            But Santa IS magic!

            • I never actually believed in Santa. When I was about three my brother showed me where our parents had hidden our toys. We played with them. And then I pretended (under strict orders from my brother not to get him into trouble). I do remember being totally weirded out when asked to sit on some stranger’s lap though.

  19. Great story, and you didn’t have to be the bad parents who broke it to him about Santa–he figured it out for himself. And rightly so–Santa would never give a kid a dictionary! :)

    • We lucked out, for sure, Lorna. I hate admitting I’ve lied!

      • When Alex we a mere 5 years old, Someone on the school bus told him Santa wasn’t real. He came home and asked me point blank. I had to make a decision and I’m not good under pressure.

        I told him that Daddy was really Santa (he ate the cookies and drank the milk). Alex paused and asked, “What about the Tooth Fairy?” I admitted that she was me. Without missing much of a beat, he brightened up and said with the biggest smile, “How lucky am I? My Daddy is Santa and my Mommy is the Tooth Fairy!”

        We went with that for f couple more years…

  20. Since he doesn’t believe in santa anymore, does that mean you were off teh hook for future christmas gifts?

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