15 Adult Versions of Finding Out That Santa Claus Doesn’t Really Exist

A recent online discussion grabbed my attention when someone asked: “What is the adult version of finding out that Santa Claus doesn’t exist?” Here are their best responses. Do you agree?

1. Discovering Retirement Woes

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Numerous folks agree with one who suggests: “Finding out that ‘reaching retirement’ is about hitting a financial number and not reaching an age.” Yeah, this one takes the cake. Although one adds: “Finding out that this financial target is much harder to reach than you were lead to believe, and it gets worse every year.” It’s rough all around.

2. Learning That Sometimes There Is No Justice

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Growing up, we’re led to believe that justice will be served, but it’s not typically the case. Did you know that most murders are never solved? How about that most sexual assaults aren’t leading to convictions or even being investigated?

3. Finding Out That Hard Work Doesn’t Always Pay Off

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Another societal myth we are led to believe is true is that being a hard worker equates to being rewarded with even the basic cost of living — these days. It doesn’t. I concur with someone who mentions: “And the laziest person at work is allowed to be lazy, but the hardest worker isn’t allowed a break.” I’m a hard worker in the scenario and can confirm.

4. Learning That Adults Don’t Have It All Figured Out

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Do you remember when you were a kid and couldn’t wait to be an adult? I remember telling my dad that I couldn’t wait to turn 18 so I could move out. Haha! Then, once you get out on your own, you realize life is still school. It’s just not in a designated building.

You don’t magically know everything. You need to continue reading your whole life if you want to remain educated and open-minded. And you still will never have it all figured out.

5. When Your Parents Start Coming to You

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A forum member best explains: “That time period when your relationship switches and your parent looks to you for answers and advice, instead of them being the one with all the answers.” It’s a strange transition and equally equatable to learning there is no Santa Claus, especially when accompanied by dementia.

6. Realizing You Never Feel Like an Adult

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Does anyone ever honestly feel like an adult? How many of us find ourselves looking around the room for an adult when situations require one, only to discover we are the adult? Freaky.

7. Learning That We Are All Faking It Till We Make It

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Similarly, the realization that everyone is out here faking it until they make it is a tough one. It can come with imposter syndrome, anxiety, and more.

8. Discovering Someone You Admired Is Terrible

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Another punch to the gut is when you discover that someone you have looked up to and admired your entire life is actually someone who did/does horrible things. Family members, friends, and revered famous people who did terrible things can really disappoint you.

9. Losing Your Parents

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Losing your parents is another moment in life that kicks you hard, like discovering there is no Santa. Only, it’s much, much worse. I recently lost both of my parents and everything that follows, including the grief, is indescribable for those who don’t know from their own losses.

Several people relate to one who expresses how difficult it is to empty out your childhood home (mostly in the dumpster) and find yourself questioning what it was all for.

10. Christmas Bonuses Almost Never Exist

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Jelly of the Month Club, anyone? “That there is the gift that keeps on giving, Clark!” Yeah, Hollywood had us all believing that Christmas bonuses were some regular thing, but regular folk don’t get them.

11. Getting a Degree Doesn’t Guarantee Squat

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One of the hardest realizations for people buried under mounds of student debt is: “A Bachelor’s degree is not a coupon redeemable for one full-time job in your field of choice after graduation.” Neither is a Master’s degree, for that matter.

12. Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

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People who learn that two people can love each other more than anything in the world but still not be a good fit for a long-term relationship is a devastating revelation. As one writes: “True and pure Love isn’t always enough.”

13. Not Always Knowing the “Why?”

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A member best explains: “Spending time trying to understand why something happened often doesn’t lead to answers and can only prolong your healing process. Sometimes, ‘closure’ is moving forward and not ruminating or trying to figure out why.”

14. Understanding the Complexity of Money

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Learning that $1000 is not as much money as you once believed is a terrible loss. Moreover, $1000 isn’t that much money at all until you don’t have it. Then, it’s all the money in the world.

15. Your Employer Doesn’t Care About You

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This is one of the hardest lessons I’ve learned, especially as a hard-working employee. Being the one who comes in early, stays late, answers calls to cover shifts, works holidays and weekends — never gets a pay raise. They only get more work and a pizza party.

I worked for a casino a long time ago. They had the audacity to sit us down for a quarterly meeting, praise us for going FAR beyond projected revenue, and then give us free trash off the beer truck as a thank you.

The worst part? We had been understaffed and were issued tickets for every late night, extra shift, team player work, etc., for a raffle. We were told we would be winning PSPs, massive flatscreen TVs, Playstations, and more.

The day of, they decided it wasn’t fair for the employees who had no tickets. So they put everyone in the drawing only once. The main prize (I won it for having the most tickets) was a small Bud Light BBQ that they got free from the beer truck. We never saw the prizes promised.

True Ghost Stories: 3 Terrifyingly True Tales From Living in a Haunted House

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Growing up in a haunted house proved terrifying on many occasions. It’s nothing you ever get used to, but something you learn to live with when given no other choice. The home had multiple spirits and another supernatural being with a darker, evil presence.

Not only did I grow up in the home, but as an adult, I moved back into the house with my daughter when my dad remarried and moved out. I know what you’re thinking: “Why would you willingly move back into a haunted home?” I was a single mom with limited options and a loving father. Nonetheless, I have decades’ worth of stories. Here are three of the creepier moments.

14 Little Lies That Everyone Tells at Some Point in Their Life — Have You?

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Have you ever been a liar-liar with your pants on fire? We all have, at some point in our life, told lies. Some are big, while others are to spare someone’s feelings, but a lie is a lie. Here are 14 lies that we tell or have told someone in our lives.

14 Really Dangerous Things That People Treat as If Entirely Safe — Do You?

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Is there anything you do or notice others doing like they are safe when they aren’t? While I am confident, the list is long — after someone asked an internet community: “What’s really dangerous but everyone treats it like it’s safe?” — Here are their honest confessions. Do you agree?

15 American Customs That Foreigners Admit Make Absolutely No Sense

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I recently ran into a fun question on a popular internet forum. A member asked the Non-Americans what American custom makes no sense to them. Here are their honest confessions.

15 Once True Things That Are No Longer Truth Anymore — Do You Remember?

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So many things that were once true in my lifetime are no longer true today. For example, my math teacher told us we needed to learn math because we wouldn’t carry a calculator in our pocket all day. While it’s still true that you need to learn math, you do have that calculator today. Here are several other former truths.


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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.