IT was the heartbreaking news no parent should ever be forced to share with their child. The moment when a father had to tell his 17-year-old son that there is no such thing as Santa.
That moment came two hours before James Tobin was about to post his annual letter to Santa Claus.
Pat Tobin, of Faithleg, Co. Waterford, told how he was forced to break the terrible news when his son James turned to him and asked: “Dad, do you think Santa could get me a playstation 3 and an x-box this year?”
“I turned to him and shouted, IN MY FUCKING HOLE HE WILL!” Mr Tobin said.
The young man had been receiving expensive gifts all his childhood but despite the economic down turn last year he still persisted on asking for even more presents, including a 112 foot fishing trawler which he received last year.
“I just blew up; I couldn’t keep up the facade any longer. We would go hungry several months of the year so our little James could get his presents from Santa.
“Last year I had to remortgage the house for a third time. I had no option but to tell him the truth about Mr. Claus.”
Mr Tobin said he was glad he finally told him.
“Its alot off my chest.” he added.
He told how his son had been very upset at the news and that he locked himself into the ’08 Land Rover which ‘Santy’ bought for him two years ago.
“He must have stayed in there for 3 whole hours. Then of course it was dinner time so he had no choice but to come in and eat. He nearly died with the hunger out there on his own, poor little pet.”
James was later sent for a quick evaluation for his post traumatic in August, but by December he was back for regular therapy once a week as his mind began to reject reality.
“He was sent to an adults psychiatrist for older people, he couldn’t be sent to the child shrink because they said he was too old!”
Since he began therapy, his son had asked him several times if he could still get the presents he ordered, even though he knew Santa Claus wasn’t real.
Mr. Tobin added: “I had no choice but to tell him ‘no’. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do in my life.
“James moved out of home shortly after we told him the truth.”
“He visits now and again but its just not the same anymore. Things will never be the same.”