Over Thanksgiving weekend I was in the car with Mike when he asked our six year old nephew, Spencer, what he wanted from Santa for Christmas. Spencer rolled his eyes at us, then slowly answered with a few items. I immediately realized what was happening. Later, I said to Mike, “I don’t think Spencer believes in Santa anymore.” “WHAT?!” Mike gasped. “But he’s only SIX?!?!” Mike was incredulous, but I wasn’t. Times have changed, and it’s much harder to keep up the illusion of Santa than it was when we were kids.
I believed in Santa until I was eight years old. That year, about ten days before Christmas, my brother and I were looking at the presents under the tree and came across one that read, “To: Heather From: Santa” My brother and I were horrified! I went into the kitchen to question my Grandma. Her response was, “You didn’t really think Santa did it all in one night, did you?” I didn’t totally buy her explanation, and I expressed my doubts at a friend’s house the next day. Her older brother, who had been spying on us, burst into the room and yelled, “Santa isn’t real!” That dashed any last hint of belief I still had.
Still, age eight seems downright ancient these days when it comes to believing in Santa. I think part of the blame lies with the media – commercials and movies are open about Santa being a myth, or at least are very wink wink, nudge nudge when discussing him. Kids pick up on this stuff. Also, in general, kids are so much savvier than we were thanks to the Internet. One of my teacher friends had a student who googled “is Santa Real?” and then told the whole class the answer.
What do you all think? Are kids finding out too early? Is the media at fault? Is that innocence just a thing of the past?