How would it feel to be the most hated man in America? How would
it feel to have every little kid in the country despise you? How
would it feel to be affectionately known by listeners as “the DJ
who stole Christmas?”
Just ask John Praise, a Long Island radio DJ.
According to an article in the “New York Post” last week,
Praise, known on-air as J.P., had been hyping a big announcement
for the morning of Dec. 1, urging families to gather around the old
voice box at 7:30 a.m.
Then, on the fateful day, as children listened with ears wide
open and parents sat, warm cups of coffee in their hands, J.P. made
the big announcement.
“There is NO Santa Claus,” the “Post” reported him as saying.
“It’s Mom and Dad. Go and look in your parents’ closets and under
the bed and you’ll find gifts.”
Poor little tikes. Thousands of kids had their Christmas dreams
shattered that morning, being force-fed the fact that Jolly Old
Saint Nick was just mom and dad.
That morning will forever be the setting of the story that those
children will have to tell when asked, “When did you find out that
Santa wasn’t real?”
But, what about the students attending Colorado State? When did
they find out that the fat man in the tight red suit was really
just their parents putting presents in the stockings and taking the
cookies the kids had left out back to bed to eat while watching the
TBS “A Christmas Story” marathon?
A few brave souls dared to share their stories of when Santa
went from being a gift-giver to a story that they would someday
share with their kids.
Robert Fagnan, senior, English & creative writing
Robert’s story is a classic one. He was convinced that there was
a Santa until around age 9 or so, holding true despite the jeers of
other kids on the playground, getting reassured by his parents that
there was indeed a jolly fat man squeezing down the chimney every
December leaving gifts.
However, around that time, Fagnan finally gave in to the fact
that Santa was indeed not real, but he wasn’t going to let that
ruin the amount of loot he came away with on Christmas morning.
“I decided I would keep pretending there was still a Santa for
my parents’ sake, and so I could get a couple extra presents every
year,” Fagnan said. “But by the time I was 12, my parents caught on
and ruined my plan, and I’ve been getting two less presents a year
Matt Dexheimer, senior, human development
The tale of Matt Dexheimer’s falling out with the world’s
fattest elf stems from a family tradition.
Matt and his sister Megan would sleep in the same bed every
Christmas Eve and try their hardest to stay awake so that they
could catch a glimpse of Santa. Every year, they swore to their
parents on Christmas morning that they heard him on the roof the
night before. Mr. and Mrs. Dexheimer would then play along, knowing
the whole while that the noise on the roof was merely the
pitter-patter of raccoons and squirrels.
Then, on Christmas Eve when he was 7, Matt’s dream of catching a
glimpse of Santa Claus came crashing to the ground.
“My sister and I were still awake in her room, when we heard the
door open,” Dexheimer said. “We looked over and our dad was
grabbing a blanket from the room. He saw us and got out of the room
as quick as he could.”
The next morning, that blanket was wrapped around a doll that
Santa had “left” for Meg.
“He tried to cover it up and tell us that he was just helping
Santa, but we had already figured out that he wasn’t real,”
Charlie Silverstein, freshman, apparel and merchandising
Charlie Silverstein was one of those kids who just figured the
whole Santa thing out. Her sister, however, is another story.
When Silverstein’s sister was 7, she was unfortunate enough to
come down with a cold on Christmas Eve. Seeking some sort of
remedy, she went into her parents’ room and was horrified to see
her Mom and Dad putting together the dollhouse that she had asked
for from Santa.
She then ran out of the room balling, with her mother in
pursuit. Her mom tried to tell her that Santa couldn’t fit the
whole dollhouse down the chimney, so he just dropped the pieces and
they had to help him put it together. She didn’t buy it.
“Finding out that Santa wasn’t real just kind of ruined it,”
said Silverstein. “It took the magic away from the whole
Ben Brooks, junior, philosophy
For Ben Brooks, the realization that Santa wasn’t real came at
the early age of 4.
He and his sister, who was 5 at the time, were sitting on the
back porch of their house talking about life and what was going on
in the world. After discussing the topic of Santa Claus, they
simply found it hard to believe that one man could go to every
house in the world in one night. So, they took their question to
the man who would know the answer — their dad.
“We told him what we thought and he basically just told us
‘yeah, you’re right.'” Brooks said. “He didn’t try to cover it up
or come up with a story, he just told us that Santa wasn’t
Peter Adair, senior, history
Peter Adair was, as he put it, “that kid.”
Adair never bought into the whole story of Santa Clause. He just
never believed it, and then he broke his girlfriend’s heart.
“In third grade, my girlfriend made me mad on the playground,”
said Adair. “So I said, ‘Oh yeah? Well Santa isn’t real!’ It
definitely made her cry.”
Joey Sudmeier, junior, restaurant and resort management
Joey Sudmeier’s mom is one who should join the ranks of Adair
and the DJ who stole Christmas.
According to Sudmeier, when his mom was 9, she found out that
Santa didn’t exist. However, she didn’t feel content just keeping
this secret to herself. So, she walked up and down her street and
told all the kids to go to her house because she had a secret to
“Once the kids got there, my mom charged them 25 cents to get in
the door,” Sudmeier said. “Then, after they were all in the living
room, my mom got up in front and told them that Santa wasn’t real,
that it was their mom and dad.”