When Christmas Changed Forever

DHS students and teachers share their stories on how they found out the man coming down the chimney wasn’t real

By Tyler Woelfel

Griffin Fletcher (Senior): 

Griffin loves Christmas. He can’t wait for the holidays because of one simple reason: countless gifts. He doesn’t care whether it was Santa or his parents delivering the gifts, he just wanted to embrace the joy of endless mounds of torn wrapping paper. He never listened to his friends when they told him Santa wasn’t real because he loved the holiday so much. He believed Santa was real, despite the misguidance of his peers. Unfortunately, he found out from me. I asked him how he found out santa wasn’t real and this is when he went into shock. He asked me if I was joking, but I had to break the news to him. Hopefully his Christmas isn’t ruined this year.

Jacob Kapusansky (Freshman):

Jacob found out that jolly Saint Nick isn’t real in a very interesting way. He used an iPod he received from a past Christmas to solve the mystery. Jacob was very curious and wanted to figure out if this man that comes down your chimney and put presents under your tree was real. On the night before Christmas, Jacob created a plan. He would place his iPod downstairs and record the whole night. In the morning, he was the first up. He ran downstairs, didn’t even stop to look at the presents, and checked the footage. He was in shock. The big man dressed in red wasn’t real. His mom and dad worked together putting each present down one by one. Although Santa wasn’t real, he wasn’t fazed. No matter what, he knew he would get presents this year and many more to come.

Mrs. Spence (DHS Staff):

Mrs. Spence found out the hard way, but she made sure someone else in the family could enjoy it as long as possible. Growing up, she noticed that she wasn’t getting some of the things she asked for, even though some of her friends did. A major item on one of her lists growing up was a bicycle. When she didn’t get it, she knew Santa wasn’t real. Although she was obviously upset, Mrs. Spence and her older siblings made sure the youngest in the family wouldn’t find out. They did everything the could to make her believe he was real. They would look up in the sky outside and claim they saw Santa sleigh flying around. With her effort, she was able to keep her youngest sister a believer under she was around 11.

Ms. Melinsky (DHS Staff):

Ms. Melinsky never truly understood Christmas as a kid. She grew up in New York where she attended a school with a Jewish majority population. Also, she had attended a Seneca camp. These reasons led her to believe that Christmas wasn’t really a holiday in her religion. Because of this, Melinsky was never really a believer in santa even though her family celebrated Christmas and she, in fact, wasn’t Jewish.

Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I’m sorry I have taken a couple years off from writing. Maybe if you had a Twitter account or cell phone I could hit you up with my wish list. I know you are always watching, so if you do see this and have a Twitter follow me @DHS_Squaller. Okay, let’s get down to business. Most of the presents I am asking for this year are going to be pretty tough to wrap. I understand that you are a really busy man, but I would really appreciate if you could let me go out with a bang for my last Christmas living at home.

1. This year I have been in a bit of a dry spell; with New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day only a couple months away, I could use a girl. If you are as old as people say you are, then you have kept Mrs. Clause for a while. That’s impressive. Just along with this girl maybe some tips to make it last? (If you have some extra time). Of course, I don’t expect her to be wrapped, so maybe just have her slide into my DMs or something like that.

2. Next, I know I said most of it was going to be hard to wrap, but there are a couple little things I would appreciate if they had a nice bow on them. (I know the other two things that I am asking for are pretty hard, so here are some easy ideas I would love and almost expect to be under the tree when I run down stairs suited up in my onesie). The first thing is a new Mercedes. I know you have the hookup with Mercedes because you’re always in their commercials. Also I think if I walked into my backyard and there was a nice big pool and hot tub combo I would be pretty excited. Finally, the last thing I would take with a bow on it would be a cool-looking jet. I’m not too picky on how big it needs to be. Just make sure my family can fit in it comfortably. I know these are going to be easier for you to get than the other two so just help a brother out; I am only really asking for six things this year, so like, c’mon.

3. Along with everything else, could you go into my PowerSchool and just set all my midterm and final test grades to A’s. I made it through three years of midterms and final tests, so how about this year you come through with spreading some joy. I would be a whole lot more joyful if I didn’t have to take those tests.

4. Lastly, college tuition. As you know, college tuition is expensive. Scholarships help some, but if you could just pay the whole thing, that’d be great. I know this is a pretty easy one; just mail them a check for my tuition bill. You could also just drop it off in my stocking and I could take care of it too.

I know most of these are hard to gift wrap, so you don’t have to wrap them. I mean, I’m 17 now; I don’t need to unwrap them. Just put a bow on anything that you can put a bow on, and for the other stuff you can just make it happen however you want. I know the presents I am asking for are unconventional, but they didn’t make just anybody the big guy in the suit. No, they made you Santa because you get the job done. So, I’m counting on you to pull through with this one.

Yours truly,
Caden Koenig

The Santa Lie is a Necessary Evil

Despite knowing the sad truth, Christmas can still be a magical time

By: Ben Daugherty

Almost every person I’ve talked to has believed or still believes in Santa Claus. Parents everywhere perpetuate this lie in order to achieve the “holiday spirit”. The same parents that teach their kids to never lie, are lying to their kids’ faces to get them to look forward to Christmas. Santa seems all fine and dandy until one day: the day you find out Santa isn’t real. The day you find out that you’ve sat on some random dude’s lap at the mall for nine straight years.

I found out Santa wasn’t real when I was eight, and Christmas has been gradually worse ever since. Finding out about the lie that is Santa was devastating.

I vividly remember the day it happened. I was at my grandparents house waiting for the “real Santa” to arrive, as I always did. That particular year, I realized that Santa was either my brother or he was fake.

After sitting on his pillow-stuffed lap, I realized my brother definitely wasn’t Santa. It then hit me; my brother’s below-average Santa costume was as real as it would get, and that magically fat man would not be coming down my chimney that year. I was devastated.

Deliberately lying to your children is wrong on so many levels, but the Christmas lie seems to be a special case where lying is acceptable. Without it, the magic of Christmas would be lost.

You can say that you’re looking forward to giving, but you’re truly either looking forward to getting gifts or seeing Santa. The magic of Christmas isn’t lost when you find out Santa isn’t real. Sure, you spend a few weeks, months, or years wondering if you can ever trust again; however, once you get over that, you begin to pass the magic on to younger generations.

The same goes for the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Great Pumpkin, and others. Just because you don’t believe anymore, doesn’t mean the magic is lost.

For people with younger siblings or kids, the Christmas spirit lives on through them. Some of my fondest memories have revolved around Christmas. Whether it was seeing family members I don’t normally see or sitting on Santa’s lap at my grandparents house, Christmas has been nothing but good times.

Christmas is all about family. It is a holiday that brings families together.

Seeing my younger cousins’ faces light up when “Santa Claus” walks through the door of my grandparents’ house, puts a smile on everyone’s face. If all it takes is one white lie to bring an entire family together, I’m in.

Everyone dreams of a white Christmas anyway.

Evolution of Christmas Lists

As your desired gifts increase in price, make sure your appreciation increases too

‘Tis the season to get out the pen and paper, and to put your thinking cap on to come up with what to want Santa to bring you this year.

There were easier times, times when our lists would max out at $250, full of little gimmick toys that cost around $20 each. It was much easier for both us, and our parents’ wallets.

I remember being five or six, making my first Christmas list, filling it with things such as a Furby, the new Nintendo DS, and some more Pokémon cards. At no point while I was making the list did money, or the amount of gifts I was receiving cross my mind.

When I was nearing my 10th birthday, I became more interested in video games and things that were slightly more expensive. Along with that, I became more conscious about how many gifts I was receiving.

Nowadays, our lists have been whittled down to one, maybe two, things that are far more expensive. Most of us don’t realize how spoiled we actually are due to the fact that we get, and have gotten, everything we ask for.

English and speech teacher Krista McDonnough said that if her kids really show interest in something she will get it for them, but she doesn’t like to get them everything they want, and prefers to surprise them with gifts.

“When I was little, I remember focusing on one “big” present (big at the time being a baby doll) and being excited to get that present,” McDonnough said. “Nowadays, sadly, my kids are becoming more obsessed with how many gifts they get. Even if I were to get them one awesome toy, they would be a little upset because it was only one toy.”

So, when you’re writing your Christmas list this year, you should put some thought into what it takes to get you what you want. After you unwrap your presents on Christmas morning, make sure your parents know you appreciate all they do for you.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy Kwanzaa.

Santa is not the real spirit of the season

Disclaimer: If you are under the age of 12, please do NOT read this.

I ran downstairs on Christmas morning, seeing presents under the tree and filled stockings.  I frantically searched for the magical present that would be all mine, the one that would say those glorious words: “To Noah, From Santa.”

But once I found it and began to open it, I realized what it was. What it had to be. Clothes.

What 12-year old wants clothes for Christmas?  I looked closer at the handwriting on the tag.

Suddenly, it dawned on me.

It was the exact same handwriting as my mother’s.  I looked up at her suspiciously, and at that moment, she knew I was getting closer to revealing the secret all parents try to keep from their children as long as possible.

“Noah, we need to talk,” my mom said.

“No. If this is about the birds and the bees again, I don’t need to know anymore.”

But then she broke the news to me, and it all made sense.

How can a fat man travel around the entire world in one night? How could reindeer carry that fat man all night, let alone fly? And how could that fat man, the fat man that so many continue to believe in, fit down a chimney without getting stuck?

Let’s say Santa is 6 feet tall, even though people who live in colder climates are usually a couple inches shorter. There are 6 billion people in the world.  No man on this planet could ever consume that many cookies in a lifetime, no matter how big and tall he is. But somehow Santa does it in one night.

So why do parents continue telling lie after lie to children, making them believe in Santa Claus? Shouldn’t we avoid lying to kids? If we keep this big of a lie going for so many years, all we’re doing is setting a bad example. We’re saying that lying is OK.

I’m not saying that we should end all the usual Christmas activities like getting a tree, making egg nog and trying to lure that one girl, who we all know is way out of my league, under the mistletoe.

But we can get in the holiday spirit without the big man in a red jumpsuit. I’m perplexed about why he’s even relevant to the season.

So when should we stop believing in Santa? The answer to that is that we should never have believed in him in first place.   I’m sorry, faithful parents and children, I just want to stop the heart-breaking moments children have when they find out there is no Santa Claus.

Running downstairs with the same Christmas spirit is not affected by knowing that the tags on the presents say “From, Mom and Dad.”