The Five Stages of Grief When You Find Out Santa Isn’t Real

Not everyone learns that Santa isn’t real at a young age. Some of us are well into adulthood before discovering the truth. And when we do, it can be pretty devastating. How can anyone deal with such a crushing blow?

The good news is that there are stages of grief that apply to this situation. So if you’re finding it hard to cope with the news that Santa isn’t real, here are the five stages you may go through.

1. Denial

At first, you may not want to believe it. But, surely Santa can’t be a myth! After all, you’ve seen the evidence with your own eyes. The presents under the tree, the cookies gone from the plate… there’s no way it can all be fake.

How is it possible that something you believed in for so long could turn out to be untrue? Yet, in denial, you may try to convince yourself that Santa is real, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

2. Anger

Once the initial shock wears off, you may start to feel angry. How could your parents or whoever else lied to you about Santa? You trusted them, and they let you down.

You may also be angry at Santa himself for not being real. All those years, you believed in him, and he let you down too. Now you’re boiling with rage, and you’re not sure who to take it out on.

3. Bargaining

Once the anger has subsided, you may start to feel like you can’t accept that Santa isn’t real. It’s just too painful. So you may start bargaining in an attempt to hold onto the belief.

You may tell yourself that Santa is real in some other dimension or that he’s real for other people, just not you. Maybe he was real at one point but isn’t anymore. You’ll grasp at any straw to keep the belief alive.

4. Depression

As the reality sets in that Santa isn’t real, you may start to feel depressed. All those happy memories of Christmases past now seem like a lie. You may feel like you can’t trust anyone or anything.

The holidays may lose their appeal, and you may find yourself feeling down and out. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but you have to face the fact that Santa isn’t real.

5. Acceptance

Eventually, you will reach a point where you can accept that Santa isn’t real. It may take some time, but you’ll get there. And once you do, you’ll be able to move on with your life.

You may find that you still enjoy the holidays, even without believing in Santa. After all, they’re a time to be with family and friends and to celebrate the things that really matter.

So if you’re finding it hard to cope with the news that Santa isn’t real, just remember that you’re not alone. And know that it’s okay to grieve. Just take it one day at a time, and eventually, you will reach acceptance.


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