The death of Santa


Ava Bass, Contributing writer

Today was the day I would break the news to my mom. I couldn’t keep pretending like I had been the previous year. As I rode home on the bumpy and loud bus full of other kids my age, I thought of each way I could tell her without breaking her Christmas-loving heart. I had to tell her I’d stopped believing. In Santa, that is.

I walked in the door, nervous as ever. This may be the biggest challenge my sixth-grade self would have to face.

When I walked in, she greeted me as she usually did. “How was school?”, she said. “Learn anything new?”Little did she know, she was about to learn something new about me that I had kept from her for over six months.

I had to tell her, it was now or never. “Yes, actually” I said nervously, “Mom, I have something to tell you”. Man was I dreading this, “I don’t believe in Santa anymore”.

You would have thought someone died.

Looking back, it’s almost like she went through the five stages of grief.

First, denial: “Ava, that’s not true, I still believe in Santa!”

Second, anger: “Who is telling you these lies? I’m going to call their mom and tell them their child is ruining Christmas for other kids!”

Third, bargaining: “Please sweetie, Christmas is next month, and you won’t get any presents if you don’t believe. Please, just let me have one more Christmas!”

Fourth, sadness: “I should have cherished last year’s Christmas so much more had I known that would be your last year believing” (cue the tears).

And lastly, acceptance: “I guess I can’t change your mind, Christmas will just never be the same”.

I remember my mom barely speaking to me for at least one whole day, crying on and off, this upset over a make believe man coming down our chimney every night. I can’t believe I ever believed a man that fat could fit down my tiny chimney, basically break into my house, and think it was totally normal. Gosh, kids are so naive.

I knew better than to rat out the little boy in my class who was mad at the world and the puberty he was going through, my mom for sure would have called his mom. With that phone call, they wouldn’t be having a holly jolly Christmas.

Once Christmas rolled around the next month, it wasn’t the same. I didn’t sneak downstairs to see if the milk and cookies were gone (thanks Dad for eating them every year), and I didn’t peek into my stocking to see what gift cards and candy Santa had brought me (thanks Mom for the Starbucks gift card).

I could tell my mom was upset, but I tried to make the most of it and told her I couldn’t be one of those weird kids in high-school who still battles with her friends about Santa Claus, if I even had any friends at that point.

That year my beliefs had changed, but my love for Christmas hadn’t. Except maybe my mom’s had. I knew she was wishing Santa was real so she could pray for coal in that little boy’s stocking.