Almost Southern: RIP Christmas

This is how my family ruined Christmas when I was nine.

by Meredith Mulhern, Staff Writer


Today we’re flashing it back all the way to Christmas morning, 2006.

I was in third grade, still an avid believer in the illustrious Santa Claus. I was completely enthralled in his magic and was a dedicated supporter. However, this all changed on this fateful morning.

I slowly tiptoed my down my creaky wooden stairs, careful not to wake anyone up. It was a cloudy morning, but I could see one thing clearly: no presents laid in Santa’s special present spot next to my fireplace.

Fear, denial, and dread washed over my small third-grade self. Santa hadn’t come.

I rushed over to the cookies and was amazed to discover that there were bites taken out. I collapsed next to the presents under the tree and frantically searched for a label that read, “From, Santa.” My search was fruitless. No presents had arrived from Santa.

I sat alone, quietly crying to myself and thinking I was a terrible child. Soon after, my parents and my sister came downstairs. They were alarmed to see me crying, and asked what was wrong.

“Santa didn’t come,” I wailed.

The color drained from my mom’s face, and my dad started screaming.

“Meredith, Santa isn’t real. He never was, never will be,” my dad said.

This comment induced a shouting/crying match between me and my dad, which included me convincing myself that he was lying. I don’t really remember much after that, but that was definitely one of the most traumatizing experiences of my childhood.

I eventually got over the shock that my Christmastime idol was dead to me, and I began to spread the word. Bad idea.

After the break, I was at recess with my fellow third grade students on the St. Peter’s school blacktop.

“Santa’s not real,” I told my friends.

“What? You’re lying!” They cried.

“No I’m not, my dad told me.”

I then entered into a heated argument about how St. Nicholas was in fact real, but Santa isn’t. I made the majority of the girls in my class cry that day and ruined their Christmas spirit.

So, as you can see, my experiences with Santa Claus have been sub-par. Honestly I don’t even understand why we lie to kids in the first place. My third-grade Christmas would’ve been so much better if my dad hadn’t ruined my life that morning. Seriously, what is the point of Santa? I don’t mean to be a cynic, but I sure as heck don’t want to be the one to break the bad news to my kids. That, along with cleaning up vomit when they’re sick, will be my husband’s job. Maybe I’m just bitter about Santa because of my disturbing experience, but there’s so much work that goes into making sure your kids still believe. Elf on the Shelf (shoutout to Elton), hiding presents, lying to your children, the list goes on and on.

However, despite my strong opinions on the idea of Santa Claus, Christmas is still pretty great. I mean there are cookies, hot cocoa, movies, TV specials, and the best thing of all, giving presents.

So, Stars, I’m gonna get a little preachy. Don’t forget to give gifts this season even if you’re broke (because I’m assuming most of you are since we’re all in high school). Seriously, even if you knit a crappy sweater or make your mom pay for baking supplies to make cookies, it all counts. Somebody’s gotta be Santa since he isn’t real.

(I’m still bitter).