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The 10 Stages of Believing in Santa

Yesterday I told you guys that my 10-year-old still believes in Santa. One of these years he’s going to learn the bitter truth about Santa and when he does, it’s sure to devastate him the way it’s devastated countless generations before him.

I learned the truth about Santa at 9 years old. I noticed that particular Christmas morning that Santa’s handwriting looked remarkably similar to my dad’s. I was quick to dismiss such a ridiculous thought. My dad as Santa? No way! A few weeks later, once we packed Christmas away, I worked up the courage to ask my mom, “Is Santa really real?” to which she replied, “Do you really want to know the truth?” I had my answer. Boom, just like that, my childhood shifted. Game over. Thanks for playing.

Take a look at the 10 stages of believing in Santa and let me know if I’ve left any out in the comments below:


  • Stage I: Confusion 1 of 10
    Stage I: Confusion
    You're a baby dressed up in some fancy red and green costume you don't quite understand. Now let this fat old guy hold you and smile…or cry. Either way, your parents are totally posting that picture on Facebook so try hard not to look like you need a diaper change.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage II: Fear 2 of 10
    Stage II: Fear
    Who is this fat old guy? What have you done with my parents? Where am I? Why am I wearing shoes?!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage III: Curiosity 3 of 10
    Stage III: Curiosity
    So you're the guy who flies in a magical sleigh with the help of reindeer, huh? You land on my roof, break into my house, and eat my treats all before leaving a ginormous stash of presents? Why that's not strange, impossible, or creepy at all! Can I touch your beard?
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage IV: Belief beyond all belief 4 of 10
    Stage IV: Belief beyond all belief
    Of course I believe in Santa! He's awesome and fat and jolly and he's totally watching me and that's OK because I've been so totally good this year! I write Santa letters, sing him songs, and act on my best behavior for him!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage V: Belief 5 of 10
    Stage V: Belief
    Yeah sure, I believe in Santa. I mean, he's never let me down before.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage VI: Cautious belief 6 of 10
    Stage VI: Cautious belief
    My friends don't believe in Santa but I do. At least I think I do. I mean if I don't believe he might not come, so I guess I believe just in case.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage VII: Devastation 7 of 10
    Stage VII: Devastation
    What do you mean Santa's not real?! Mom and Dad lied to me? How could they?! Why would they?!
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage VIII: Suspicion 8 of 10
    Stage VIII: Suspicion
    Your world's been shaken. Nothing will ever be the same as it was before. You begin to doubt everything you ever dare trusted to believe in, including the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and your parents as trusted caregivers.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage IX: Acquiescence 9 of 10
    Stage IX: Acquiescence
    Christmases go on, but they're never quite the same. You refrain from thanking your parents for all the years of Santa magic they provided as your personal form of silent protest.
    Image credit: Shutterstock
  • Stage X: Revenge 10 of 10
    Stage X: Revenge
    While enough time has passed to allow your emotional wounds to heal, payback's a bitch. Welcome to the teen years, Mom and Dad!
    Image credit: Shutterstock

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More on Kid Scoop:

7 Ways That We Remember Christmas Isn’t Just About the Presents

My Tween Still Believes in Santa: How Old is Too Old?

If It’s OK With You, I’ll Just Keep Hugging

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