For many, finding out the truth about Santa marks the end of childhood. After all, realizing that old Saint Nick isn’t real is essentially an end to believing in magic.
Last year, one 10-year-old girl wrote a hilarious, but heartbreaking note to her parents after they were honest with her about Father Christmas.
— The Bump (@thebump) December 21, 2015
“You just ruined a 10 year old child’s LIFE thanks,” she wrote. “Nothing will make me feel better. You lied to me about something I loved. That BROKE my heart. #MiddleFingerEmoji.”
The girl's note couldn't be more relatable. Every year on Reddit, users reveal similar sentiments about how they found out Santa Claus isn’t real. While some find out in fairly innocent ways (ie. mom and dad told them), others have far worse experiences.
Here we’ve rounded up some of the worst ways Redditors found out the truth about Santa.
“When I was 5 I asked my grandpa if Santa was real, in front of the whole family, and he said ‘No.’ My whole family was pissed at him and a riot ensued.” – GotAF*ingUsername “My grandma told me when I was 6, casually walking to church. ‘You know Santa isn't real, don't you? It's your mother.’” – satanaintwaitin
“I was about 9 or 10 and I realized it because my parents and Santa used the same wrapping paper and had the same hand writing. Plus my mother is very dyslexia and signed half of the presents from: satan. I actually remember that when I realized it I absolutely had to tell my little brother, I felt like my whole life was a lie centered around the conspiracy that is Santa and everyone needed to know about it.” – alappel01
“I lost a tooth and decided not to tell my parents, just to see if the tooth fairy was actually real. When she didn't come the next morning I was pretty upset. So that night I told my parents what I'd done, and made them tell me everything they'd lied to me about, including Santa. Cue mom crying and dad laughing. In my mom's words I lost my childhood that night.” – HardCallis “Similar thing in my house. Crying over being told there was no tooth fairy and I say ‘you’ll be telling me Santa’s not real next.’ My mum just looks to one side and says ‘well…’ which upped the wailing to nuclear levels. To this day she swears this never happened but you don’t forget the day you lost the Tooth Fairy AND Santa.” – mrmessiah
“My mums a terrible liar.” – MssDare
“I was in a car with my mom and older sister. All sisters have big mouths, and she let the secret slip. My genius mind starting putting it all together, and moments later I had surmised there was no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy either.” – Spastic_Squirrel “Older brother woke me up and pointed out the window into the night, and said ‘look! there's Santa Claus.’ I snapped up looked out, eyes wide, my nose pressed against the glass, to see my dad unloading the car of presents. He said ‘dad is Santa. There's no Santa, it's dad. So be sure to thank him and not some make believe guy. Dad works hard.’” – HotrodCorvair
“I just googled ‘is Santa real.’ What it should say is simply ‘yes’ with no other page results. We live in strange times.” – LearningLifeAsIGo
“It was mentioned on an episode of 'Everybody Loves Raymond.' I always hated that show after that.” – thenipooped
“I don't remember how old I was, but I do remember putting clues together. Once there was the time I opened a cassette and my dad blurted out that that would play in the cassette deck I still had yet to open.” – GoogleNoAgenda
Most parents lie to their children about Santa Claus, but a new study published in the Lancet Psychiatry suggests that “lying to children about Saint Nick can undermine the trust in the parent-child relationship.”
Despite this, many people don’t see the harm in keeping the magic alive.
As one Facebook user simply put it, “Just let kids believe in something magical [and] fun, they will have enough reality when they are older!!!”
How did you find out the truth about Santa? Let us know in the comments below!