At What Age Did You…


…tell your kids or find out yourself that the big guy in the RED SUIT with a TWINKLE in his eye just might not be, ya know, “real”.

I have a very suspicious 8-year old who vacillates from planning the reindeer’s feast to feeling there are too many missing pieces..

My response is always, “Well you don’t have to believe but”……and he quickly returns to planning the reindeer buffet.  I think it’s carrots, celery and oatmeal this year.

I know there are some people who feel telling their children the Red Suit guy exists is a blatant lie and….yada, yada, blah, blah, blah.  Again that’s fine for you, but send your hate mail somewhere else, k.  I think my children will survive the myth.

I found out the reality at about age six and I wasn’t traumatized nor did I feel I had been lied to. 

I wish I could explain the facts to the older one but I know he will somehow torture the younger one (with his new information) who is SO NOT READY to hear it.

I would have thought by age eight it would be all over the playground at school but apparently it’s not, or they don’t believe each other.

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90 Comments

  1. HoneyB 1

    I remember the year my oldest questioned the existence of Santa. My way of handling it was telling him the only way he would get the gameboy he wanted (I was really against those things) was if Santa brought it to him. That Christmas I broke down and bought both of our boys a gameboy. When Justin opened his present his excitement was uncontrollable! The first words out of his mouth? “There REALLY IS a Santa Claus!” I had that child really convinced! he he.

    I the excitement of Christmas is the children and to have them believe as long as possible is great.

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  2. Deeba 2

    Both mine know, have known for years, but would rather, & rather greedily live the myth. And yes, there is plenty of potential ground for torture in my home too. The elder ones gleefully tortures the little one no end…YAY for the ‘big guy in the red suit with a twinkle’!!

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  3. Harry 3

    What do you mean; ‘He’s not real’?

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  4. Philly 4

    He is 8? I would think you have at least another year left.
    I remember my son, was afraid to tell me he didn’t believe.

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  5. Katie 5

    I was 9. My mom told me one morning before dropping me off at school b/c she didn’t want the other kids in 4th grade to make fun of me. How cool was I?

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  6. I’ll second the comment – What do you mean he’s not real?

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  7. Every year my husband is Santa Claus for the family Christmas party, and for any grandchildren who might be here at Christmas. The grandchildren LOVE Santa, but there is always the little gathering after Santa’s appearance where I overhear the grandchildren discussing among them selves the identity of Santa. They all have decided it is probably Poppa, especially since he is never around when Santa appears, but even though I think the older ones ( 6 years and above) are convinced it IS Poppa, they are as excited as the younger grandkids.

    Santa is pretty special to all of us and it sounds like the secret will be out soon enough at your place, but Santa will always be real, even when he is outed !

    I really did not find out til I was 8 years old and all the kids at school told me he wasn’t real…but I chose not to believe them, I think I knew….but you never know….I’m making a list and checking it twice just in case .

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  8. Becky 9

    My son is twelve and either he still believes or he’s afraid to admit that he knows the truth. Other kids have told him there is no Santa, but I always tell him they won’t get anything from Santa because they don’t believe. They’ll only get what their parents buy.
    I say let them believe as long as they will. It’s part of the magic of Christmas.

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  9. Teri 10

    I still believe…it’s evidenced by the magic of Christmas and in the eyes, hearts and lives of little ones and by the kindness and generosity exhibited by grown-ups.

    Teri

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  10. melissa 11

    Last year the girls were 9 and 7 and figured it out. Santa has always been a big part of our house. We made up our own stories though. We always explained that we are celebrating Baby Jesus birthday and Santa gives everyone presents to celebrate it. We make a birthday cake on Christmas day for Baby Jesus and Christmas Eve we make special cookies for Santa. You should have heard that story floatin around the school yard. Thank goodness we still have one more kid to confuse.

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  11. Thankfully I’m not there yet (6 &2), but I dread the day it happens. It will be the day that they “grow up”.

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  12. I don’t have children yet, but I had my own little belief in Santa shattered in kindergarten when Jason S. (oh yes, I remember him!) told me the “truth.” Now that I’m older, I can willfully suspend disbelief for a few fun holiday weeks :)

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  13. hmph. at my house it will always be: if you don’t BELIEVE, you won’t RECEIVE. (and we don’t even have kids!)

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  14. ntsc 15

    My presents all come from the cats, who seem to have Amex. Who knew cats could spin platinum.

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  15. Kris 16

    When mine started asking, I just said, “What do you think?” The answer they gave was what they wanted to believe.

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  16. Kari 17

    I was in the first grade when I found out – and no, I didn’t feel duped or cheated either. We have four kids (ages 15, 12, 10, 8) and only the 8 yr. old is still a true believer in the big guy in red. When my daughter was around 8 or 9, my husband was tucking her into bed on Christmas Eve. She asked him point blank, “Do you promise there’s really a Santa Claus?”… Well, around our house, promises are not taken lightly – you cannot fib or lie at all when it comes to promises. So, he told her about “Santa” right then and there, hours before he was supposed to arrive. She handled it well and never gave the secret away to her brothers. Now, my 10 son cannot keep a secret. We are really having to watch him this year because he is dying to spill the beans to his little brother. I thought it would be a big letdown for us all, when the kids stopped believing. But, it hasn’t been. It’s still as much fun as ever.

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  17. Tracy 18

    I new by the age of about 8-9,but just figured it out since I have older siblings. But I kept it to myself so as not to spoil Christmas morning when gifts from Santa were under the tree. I think my parents new I new, but we liked to carry on just the same, what harm does it do, as it is the one time of year you can be a child again. Still to this day at age 30, I usually get a little something from Santa.

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  18. Shelly 19

    I found out around 7 or 8. My 7 yo daughter still believes. She has a 10 yo friend who tried to tell her he wasn’t real but somehow I managed to convince her otherwise.

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  19. You’ve just inspired my blog post today! I was looking for something Christmas related to write about, and this is perfect as I’ve got two great stories to go with it.

    I’m with you…I say let kids believe. What harm does it really do? Kids are only kids for a short time. We should let them believe in a little magic while they still can. Childhood is short, and maturity is forever.

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  20. Kathleen 21

    My oldest was probably 5. He is very logical and figured out everybody at the same time. I am still not sure about my 12 yo. He is just the kind of kid who really wants to believe. And my 8yo, pretty sure he still believes. At school they wrote letters to Santa and he asked for very video game system there is. He figures Santa has infinite money and can afford it. He may be disappointed. Christmas is still fun though.

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  21. wkf 22

    WHAAAATTTT!!!!! Not real? My parents never really told me, they let me tell them. That worked for me. I think I was 8 or maybe 38…..

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  22. I think it’s around 7 when they know. But they keep playing along so your feelings don’t get hurt;)

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  23. I don’t have kids, so I can’t comment on that in particular, but I remember being about 6 years old and my older brother (by 3 years) taking me and sneaking into my parents’ closet to show me Castle Gray Skull (from the He-Man fame) back there. I was confused, but went with it. Then on Christmas morning, there was Castle Gray Skull, from Santa, sitting in the living room. He watched with Evil Glee as my 6 year old brain tried to piece together how this could possibly be. When I couldn’t take it any longer, he took me aside and ruined it for me. I played along for 2 more years until I was 8 and my mom told me the truth. I, then, had to tell HER the truth that I’d known for, like, ever. GOSH, mom.

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  24. I don’t know how long they’ve suspected/realized it’s not so–but I continue to totally play up the Santa thing. And my oldest is 14!! Since I have very young kids too the older ones do a great job of going along w/ the whole thing. Every time they’ve questioned it over the years, my husband and I just keep playing it up!

    I remember I went over to my friend’s house when her son was only 5 or 6 and he blurted out to my kids that Santa wasn’t real–I was so mad! A. that he told my kids and B. that his parents told him that at such a young age!!

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  25. I have kids 24, 16, 8 and 6. Believe it or not, I’ve never had this conversation. At whatever point my older children figured it out, there was always a younger one to keep the magic alive for. They never acknowledged, even to me, anything other than magic. I’m dreading the day when my younger two stop. Seriously. I’d have another baby for that reason alone, but I can’t get my hubby to go along with it.

    Santa’s come to our house for 24 years and I will miss him when he stops.

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  26. I’m planning on writing about this very thing later today. I plan on letting Maddie believe until she goes to college.

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  27. Katrina 28

    I have 4 boys, 10, 7, 5 and 1 1/2, The 10 year old figured it out (with friend’s help) last year. He then told the other TWO, who now constantly talk about how they know it’s really us, blah, blah. And while we’ve never played up the whole Santa thing real big, I’m kind of bummed that they already know. I often quietly tell the 10 year old to be quiet and let them enjoy. The 5 year old always tells me he knows it’s really just us and often questions himself and wants to still believe. I just tell him “if you don’t believe, then he won’t come.” He likes that answer, but I have to remind him often! Sigh!

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  28. Santa is real.

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  29. Howdy 30

    I don’t remember at what age my kids made the transition from ‘Believing in Santa’ to being a part of ‘Being Santa’. Once they announced that they knew… then we included them in the planning ‘Santa gifts’ for other family members. My response to inquires was always the same: I love to believe in Santa… I love all the stories about Santa… it’s fun to believe in Santa…

    If your oldest is ready it might be time to hand him his Santa hat and include him in some of the fun of being Santa.

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  30. I can recall swearing I heard hooves landing on the roof of the house – despite it being covered in snow and quite steep – I was 9 – though I already knew – who was I do let on with what I assume was the real truth – as others shared here – its about the magic of the holiday.

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  31. Misty 32

    GREAT question Cathy! Morgan is 8 & is suspicious as ever. She is determined to suck down as much caffiene this year & stay up to catch him….BECAUSE everyone in her class says he isn’t real so she wants to see for herself! Aaaah!

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  32. Marjie 33

    My older kids continue to write letters to Santa with the youngest. I don’t really know at what point they stopped believing, but we never ever let on. Heck, I damn near kill myself every year putting the presents out after hauling them from the attic after midnight! Some Christmas Eves I’ve gotten as much as 3 hours sleep!

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  33. Second grade for me. I was shocked and appalled. I didn’t feel betrayed, I just wasn’t ready.

    When my oldest figured it out, I told her that there would be Santa gifts for her as long as the youngest two believed. So if she spilled the beans, the Santa train was over. Since Santa always brought the best gifts, she kept it quiet. In fact, she came up with stories on how it all worked so the youngest would believe a little while longer! Sweet!

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  34. mitchsmom 35

    I have three boys 11, 9, and 6. I love them all dearly, of course. That said, older brothers can be buttholes. Needless to say, they have told the 6 year old, even after we had a discussion about NOT doing that.
    I’m playing the “Don’t believe, don’t receive” tactic, but I’m bummed that we couldn’t really eek out another year or two with the little one.
    I don’t remember how old I was but mom did the “don’t believe, don’t receive” and I’m still going with that myself :)

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  35. I was in 3rd grade when I found out. I pretty much hated everyone for lying to me.

    I’m totally lying to my kids because who doesn’t love gifts from Santa?

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  36. Candy 37

    I had the same problem…an older child who would have loved nothing more than to spoil it for the younger. Girls and their drama.

    Anyway…here’s how I handled it.

    I told them, pretty early on, that Santa only came to the houses of the children who believed in him. Which is why their friend Jessica got her presents from her parents. She stopped believing, so Santa stopped coming, and now her parents take care of it. And whenever they stopped believing, I would buy them their presents. And if one of them chose not to believe Santa would still come for the other.

    I know it’s a hideous lie, but my kids believed a lot longer than other children and it was magical.

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  37. Teri 38

    My kids are now 19 and 13 but when they were younger the oldest never led onto the younger about Santa… heck my oldest so good about it that he actually asked to wrap the gift that was from Santa and if he could help with all the “behind the scenes” of it all.

    My youngest was a different story… when she found out, I had to tell her that some of her friends might still believe, she said, “Well that’s really stupid and I don’t want them to look like idiots, why can’t I just tell them!” Ugh.. girls!

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  38. Marlene 39

    What? What are you talking about? He, the big guy in the red suit is NOT real? I am not believing you, because if you do not believe, you get underwear for Christmas…now, the three WISE men? Seriously, that is a totally made up tale! LOL

    Marlene

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  39. I never had small kids, just surly teenagers. (ok, they aren’t always surly, especially when they get presents from Santa)

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  40. I think I found out around 9 and remember being very sad, but also kind of relieved…

    I’m not looking forward to the day when my boys know the “truth”.

    We should all, always, believe.

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  41. marianne 42

    my son is 24 years old and we never did have “the discussion” and he still gets a couple of santa presents every year. i refuse to tell him which is more for me than him as i think he has figured it out by now.

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  42. Ned 43

    We start believing whar we want to believe as children and many never get over this childish habit

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  43. No one had to tell me. I think my family realized I’d eventually figure it out myself. Santa always just brought me the stuff in my stocking and not the big gifts, so it wasn’t such a big deal for me. I think my first suspicions seemed to be when I was admiring some handmade toys in a gift shop when I was 6 and one ended up in my stocking. It didn’t work as well as it did in the store, and I actually wrote Santa to complain! I think if I hadn’t been so determined to let Santa know he gave me faulty merchandise, my mother might have bought me a replacement one.

    I think after that logic began to settle in. I’ve always been someone who wants rational explanations for things, so Santa Claus was becoming a tough sell. But still I *wanted* to believe in Santa Claus because I liked the idea. I loved the idea of going ot bed at night, staying quiet and waiting for that special night visitor.

    Sometime around 9 or 10 I happened to be snooping around a bit (DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT. EVERYONE DOES IT) and saw a gift that later ended up in my stocking. It was a little bit of a relief actually. The proof was in my face that there was no Santa and I could just let it go. It felt good to let it go.

    I asked my husband recently if we had kids would we let them believe in Santa. At first he said yes, but then he said no. I’m not sure if that’s because he doesn’t want to encourage a fantasy or if it’s because he’s Jewish and doesn’t want to embrace too many Christmas traditions.

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  44. Ya mean he isn’t real? Waaaaaaa! We caught my son making a “Santa is a lie” sign to bring to school one day. We had to explain to him that everyone figures it out at different times and they did not need his help!

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  45. Mine are only 5 and 3 so I’m not there yet. That’s a hard one you’ve got right now. Let them believe as long as you can. That’s the magic of Christmas. I didn’t feel lied to, that’s just stupid. It was something fun that made the holiday special in a different way. The true meaning of Christmas can be explained to them when they are a bit older and can understand it. Then they can snicker at the little kids getting their picture taken with Santa at the mall once they know the truth! LOL!

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  46. Tatiana 47

    I found out when I realized that my aunt and Santa have the same wrapping paper. I’m pretty sure it was around 8.

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  47. Marti 48

    I found out when I was five. My four year old cousin told me, and then I confirmed it with my mother, who actually told me the truth. I’m the youngest of three, so I think she was just tired of the whole Santa gig.

    My son is 10 and he still believes. Although this may be the last year he does, because he found some of his presents, (they were already wrapped, thank goodness). I’m not going to change the wrapping paper though. I think he’s old enough, and like my mom, I’m getting tired of the Santa gig too. I’m not going to outright tell him, but if he asks, he’s getting the truth.

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  48. I remember the day my daughter told us there is no Easter Bunny, No Santa and no Tooth Fairy as we slipped a Loonie under her pillow in exchange for a tooth.

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  49. Marti 50

    I found out when I was five. My four year old cousin told me, and then I confirmed it with my mother, who actually told me the truth. I’m the youngest of three, so I think she was just tired of the whole Santa gig.
    I swear to goodness that my nephew was 15 or 16 when he found out.
    My son is 10 and he still believes. Although this may be the last year he does, because he found some of his presents, (they were already wrapped, thank goodness). I’m not going to change the wrapping paper though. I think he’s old enough, and like my mom, I’m getting tired of the Santa gig too. I’m not going to outright tell him, but if he asks, he’s getting the truth.

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  50. Lisa 51

    My youngest is 15. Like so many things with the youngest, I can’t exactly remember how the knowledge came to him. We never really played up Santa all that much but when my children asked about it I always gave it back to them and asked, “Well, what do you think?” In time they chose to see it in a new way but we never really had a moment of disclosure. In fact my oldest texted yesterday and asked me to convey an adjustment in his wish list to Santa.

    For my part, I learned at 6 but I think it was more of a transition than a revelation. I never cared for the big scary guy in the red suit anyway. I think I always saw it as somehow a metaphor and I think that my family basically maintains that understanding even now.

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  51. Pam 52

    I started to question my older sister when I was 7-8… Why did Santa have the same writing as mom and dad? Why did he have the same wrapping paper as mom and dad?

    I was finally told by my friend Heidi when we were at school one day during lunch. I was devistated…I went home and sat on my mom’s lap and asked her to be honest with me. She told me there was no santa, no Easter bunny and no tooth fairy. It was a sad day.

    I am so thankful that my kids are 6 and 3 and still believe.

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  52. Kimberly Ostrowski 53

    Cathy — Marissa is 9 now and in 4th grade. As far as I know she still believes in Santa and I love it! Side note – she wants to see hooligan 1 & 2 soon she saw the photos and can’t believe how big they are getting. :)

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  53. Alisa 54

    I think the 11 y.o. thinks that it’s us, but I can’t say for sure. My husband and I talked at length about this this year, she’s in 6th grade. We figured we’d let her come to her own conclusions and tell us. She’s too smart to not have figured it out, but she’s probably hedging her bets. Besides, if she can hold on to that one iota of innocence, we’ll let her. She already knows about a lot of other stuff that I didn’t know about at her age! Luckily, she doesn’t go to a school where kids get made fun of a lot.
    On the flip side, I know that she would enjoy helping us be Santa to her brother. It’s a tough decision for sure.

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  54. Kate 55

    I think my eldest was 8 when I told him the ‘truth’. But I also told him that he could help me to harbour the legend with his younger brother. The elves would always visit our home while we were out, you know, to make sure little boys kept their toys picked up and their beds made and whatnot. We could always tell they’d been there because they would leave holiday stickers on the switchplate covers of the rooms they ‘inspected’. My eldest loved helping me do this after he found out the reality.
    And no, they survived it all. Just like I did. Thanks for making me remember! I needed that today.

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  55. Tanya 56

    I probably realized the truth around the age of 7 on two different occasions. There was a day I was reading some of my books that were given by “Santa” and I saw on the back of the book “Made in Taiwan.” I literally felt like a ton of bricks fell on me. I’m pretty sure I rationalized it by saying that Santa had elves in Taiwan.

    The second time came later, when I decided to test my theory on there not being a Santa. Every year, I would give my mom my Christmas list, but one year I decided to put the letter directly into the mailbox without her knowing. I didn’t tell my parents what I wanted – I relied on my letter making it to Santa. Yep, I got NOTHING off my list that year.

    My parents never actually sat us down to tell us there was no Santa. They pretty much realized we figured it out on our own. Yeah, it’s a big ol’ lie the whole ‘Santa’ thing, but I’ve never heard of a child being traumatized for life by this lie. I can’t wait to have children and get them caught up in Santa and his reindeer!

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  56. tipper 57

    We never really told our kids there was a Santa except in a kidding way.So they never believed-but I threatened their lives if they told any other children Santa wasn’t real! And amazingly for them-they never spoiled the fun for any other kids : )

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  57. Bunny 58

    I don’t remember how old I was when I found out. My husband loves Christmas and even though our 13 and 11 yr olds know there’s no Santa he still tells them there is. And when they say there’s no way Santa could get into the house without them knowing about it, he tells them that there’s a secret door in the chimmney that he comes through.

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  58. Laura 59

    Well you and I are living parallel lives right now in a sense.
    I had a bad “Santa” incident yesterday when I told the visiting priest that it was okay to discuss the history of Santa Claus with my sixth grade.
    One girl ended up in tears.
    It was bad.
    I felt terrible for her but I was really surprised that a sixth grader still believed. I am really going to try never to let that happen again.

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  59. It was always Jesus’ Birthday for us, BUT … St. Nicholas really existed and my kids know all about him and his giving ways which spawned the American ideal of Santa and his reindeer. We enjoyed Santa tales just as much as Greek myths and other folklore (like Norwegian Nisse).

    [We also taught them that Santa Clause and the origin of babies were to be discussed only within the family so as not to infrom others before their parents thought them ready to know. they kept quiet and never spoiled their friends’ Jolly Elf dreams.]

    I love the Reindeer feast idea. We always treat the wildlife to a bountiful tree. ‘Tis the season for spreading joy and peace to all on earth.

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  60. Leslie 61

    i didn’t fully stop believing until 4th grade – i don’t feel like doing the math to figure out how old that was, but i think it is older than most people. my parents never told me, i just put the “missing pieces” together and realized it was the end of an era. plus, my dad went into the garage on xmas morning to get a present that santa must’ve forgotten – the hockey stick to go with the hockey puck i had just unwrapped. that was just the final straw.

    so i guess what i’m saying is he’ll figure it out on his own and accept it when he’s ready, until then, there’s no harm in it.

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  61. Shirley 62

    I will always believe. 😉

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  62. dawn 63

    some meanie in my school told me there was no Santa. I told him he was wrong. He said if there was a Santa then where are his footprints in the snow, why didn’t his body move the ashes in the fireplace. Sure enough on Christmas morning I looked for footprints and saw none, then looked for movement in the ashes in the fireplace and saw none. I was very sad.

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  63. heather 64

    my mom told us from the get go there was no santa (or tooth fairy or easter bunny) because of that “lie” thing. oh, until my 2 youngest siblings. then all of a sudden they were getting quarters for their teeth. so much for lies eh?

    once when i was about 5, a family came with presents for us (we were poor, and they were sharing) and the dad was dressed as santa. i remember refusing to sit on his lap and hiding behind the couch, because my mom had told me there was no santa so there was no way i was sitting on some strange guy’s lap. it’s funny in retrospect 😉

    but if i had kids, i’d probably tell them all about santa. what the heck. i’d read them fairy tales too.

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  64. You mean there is no Santa Claus? But Donald Trump says there is.

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  65. Nancy 66

    I say let the little ones enjoy the Santa story as long as possible. As the mother of 3 boys ages 21,13 and 11 I miss all of the planning for Santa. From the long lines at the mall to putting out the cookies, it’s all fun. Now all my kids want to do is provide a long list of expensive gifts…no fun at all. Can’t wait for grandchildren.

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  66. I saw Santa when I was five at my Grandfather’s for Christmas. I know it’s cheesy, but I really do think Santa exists in the form of magic at Christmas.

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  67. Liz C. 68

    I do believe I was 8. I got up every hour on the hour all night long, in hopes of catching a glimpse of the jolly fellow. He never came… And, I’ve never been the same.

    However, I do still believe in Santa Claus every time I watch the original production of “Miracle On 34th Street”. Natalie Wood gets me every time.

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  68. Don’t tell him!!!!

    I let my kids finally ask me, they are only young for so long. My 7 year old is now asking. That damn school bus….the older kids ruin it for them on the ride.

    peace
    #2

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  69. marcy 70

    Well I have Nicole, who is 10, and she knows the guys in the red suits at the mall aren’t real. We aren’t pushing for a letter to santa, but she is kind of going back and forth.
    We always try to get her a few things from santa, one usually very special thing… to make her still believe in magic;) good luck

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  70. Lori 71

    I was pretty young when I found out. I think I was traumatized for about half a day, then got over it. :)

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  71. What NO SANTA !!!!??????
    You don’t believe you don’t get

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  72. Cheryl 73

    We have a 7-year-old skeptic here (well, actually, her skepticism prompted the question to her dad last year).

    His response? “When you don’t believe in him, he doesn’t come.”

    And so it will go for our house! 😉

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  73. giz 74

    There’s something so charming about letting kids live in their happy fantasies (although they really are their realities). There’s enough crap in the world to deal with – this is their time to be entirely happy and irresponsible and just enjoy. There’s plenty of time for reality.

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  74. Medena 75

    What a great subject! I have a 9, and 7 year old, and for the past few years it’s been heard keeping the myths alive, not just the Santa, but the whole works!
    One of my best friends never did any of it with her children, and they never believed in any of it, and her kids love every opportunity to make fun of my kids for believing.

    I was just wondering the other day if maybe time has come to explain, but how????

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  75. I have a 28 year old daughter (yes, I know, I’m ancient) who still fervently believes. Your hooligan has many more years of delight. How wonderful!

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  76. You said it sister. Perfectly.

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  77. cassie o 78

    in fourth grade, my teacher took a poll of who still believed … i was one of three kids

    that year, my sister and i both wanted new ten-speed bikes for christmas, when they arrived on christmas morning it solidified santa’s existence, i thought there was just no way my parents could afford two bikes

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  78. Amanda 79

    I pretty much figured it out the Christmas I was 7. I kept asking my parents but they didn’t say anything. Finally I told my dad that I didn’t think Santa was real because even taking into account the different time zones and the fact that not every child celebrates Christmas there was no way he could get to every child in one night. My dad agreed and that was the end of truly believing.
    I did wait to tell my younger brother, I probably told him about 3 years later when he was 7. However Santa still visits my parents’ house for us kids, even though we are grown up. We celebrate the “Sprit of Santaâ€￾, although I still wish I hadn’t been so logical and figured it out early. When I have kids I hope they believe longer than I did.

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  79. ELRA 80

    Cathy,
    I am afraid that I don’t have the same experience about this since I grew up in Bali, and all my family are Hindu.
    Cheers,
    Elra

    Reply
  80. My then 8-year-old found out last year ON CHRISTMAS DAY.

    It was awful.

    But time, I guess.

    Reply
  81. Ashe 82

    I found out when I was 7. I really, really needed to see a flying reindeer. I was all for the idea of the Man in the Red Suit, but I had serious doubts about flying four-legged mammals. So, I snuck outside to our tree house on Christmas Eve and kept my eyes glued to the roof until close to midnight. It was freezing, and eventually I gave up and went back inside- just in time to see my parents putting the gifts tagged “Love, Santa” under the tree. My parents bribed me with $20 and opening a gift early to keep me from telling my little brother, who was 5 at the time. He kept on believing until he was 10. Interestingly, to this day (my brother and I are both in college now) we still get a few Christmas gifts from Santa.

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  82. Egghead 83

    My older kids never questioned it and kept silent about it after they knew. They later told me that they loved the idea of Santa and so didn’t want to spoil it. However, my youngest wanted to believe so bad when all her peers were saying it is your parents that she was in 4th grade before we had to level with her. That was after she wrote a letter to Santa asking for a real live baby to be left on our doorstep that the police and mom and dad would not take away. Well had to sit her down. She was trying to prove to herself that he was real. I think she was 9.

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  83. A reindeer buffet?!?!?

    Only you would think of this.

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  84. I was a true believer until I was seven. I woke up to pee and caught my mom stuffing the stockings. I didn’t say anything until the following week but I promised to keep the dream alive for my brother. Who still gets stockings. And still believes in his heart of hearts.

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  85. Syrie 86

    Simply Stunning

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  86. Well … Zac believed (kinda) until this year … yes … he’s going to be 14 in just a few short months. He started questioning when he was in the sixth grade and his friends were talking and I told him the same thing that Kim did. If you believe in Santa then he is real for YOU. Then one day he was at a friends house and said friend lost a tooth while he was there. The kid handed the tooth to his Mom and his Mom promptly handed over the cash from the tooth fairy. So now he had a little more doubt … at least in the Tooth Fairy.

    I would reinforce the belief to keep Santa alive by writing letters from Santa and knowing the perfect gift from Santa … oh and even leaving the sleigh bell in the stocking after we saw the Polar Express at a private screening at WB. One time he said, well I KNOW Santa is real because my Mom HATES milk and clearly the milk had been drunk (thanks Ron).

    On Thanksgiving weekend this year, we were sitting at a table with my Mom talking about Christmas and I said, “Nee said X is from Santaâ€￾ and he stopped eating his cereal and looked up at me and said, “hey … wait a minute … â€￾ and we both started laughing.

    We’ve had the conversation about is it lying or giving Christmas a little magic and I told him that I believe it’s creating a little magic in a holiday and reminded him of all the fun times it provided for him by being able to “believeâ€￾ in something. He agrees and now … Santa is our little secret to keep from all the younger cousins.

    Santa will still visit and leave awesome gifts in our house … until I’m no longer there to help him that is … he’s a VERY busy man you know *wink *

    Reply
  87. Very funny both of us on the same day YES you must get out of my head!!!

    Happy Holidays!!

    Reply
  88. The year my oldest was ten, the Hubby answered someone when he asked “Where did you find that skateboard?” (we lived on a small island) and the doofus said “At the BX”. The ten year-old was crushed.
    I never flat out lied–I told the truth “I believe there’s a santa claus, I’ve seen some magical things happen at Christmas”.

    Reply
  89. ingrid 90

    My nine year old really wants to believe though her classmates keep telling her Santa is really her Dad and I. I feel a little bad for lying (when I tell the children I won’t lie to them) but I know in the end they won’t think anything of it. Her Dad even went to school to have lunch with her and her friends to verify that he too believes in Santa! I’m sure the Twins (12yrs old) know that Santa is not “real” but have not said anything to their sister and even wrote a list for Santa,too! It’s the ol’ if you do not believe you shall not receive! LOL! I’m not raisin’ dummies!
    ~ingrid

    Reply

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