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How Long Does the Myth of Santa Live On?

I vividly remember the moment I was told Santa Claus wasn't real. I'd heard the rumors, but was still convinced that he existed. Then my best friend told me who Santa really was and how the lie was perpetrated. I was just 7 when I realized my parents were the naughty ones.

How old are kids when they find out that Santa Claus lives down the hall?


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BabyQueen BabyQueen 9 years
interesting point of views!!! hmmmmmm
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Okay, I absolutely do not want to ruin the spirit of this board, or make this not a happy community, so take what I say with a HUGE grain of salt, and just see it as yet another viewpoint. I can't believe I am speaking about my personal beliefs on an internet board on Christmas Eve...but I can never sleep the night before Christmas! ;) I'm sure by now that you all know that there are some people who do not believe in God or Jesus, though it certainly seems more acceptable to talk about believing than not believing. I come from a very religious family, and I was raised going to church often, and also believing that Santa left presents under the tree. I have to say that when I stopped believing there was a God, it was an incredibly similar feeling to stopping believing that there was Santa. It was basically along the lines of, "Oh, so there aren't great answers to these questions and the only reason we believe is because we have faith and because these stories have been passed down and written in the Bible?" Honestly, it was a similar sensation to realizing that the only reason I had believed in Santa was because people had told me that he existed, I felt the same way about religion. Had I been born in Iran, and not been told about Santa or Jesus, I would never have believed in either. You may say to give kids credit about thinking there is a difference between believing in Santa and Jesus, but please don't forget that some people who were raised Christian are actually not Christian later in their lives! I am not a silly person who is just unaware of the "greatness" of god, like I said I was raised in a very religious background, and I actually minored in Religion in college, and wrote a thesis on Paul's attempts to convert Jews a few decades after Jesus' death, so I have a strong understanding of the Christian church. I don't think telling your kids about Santa will cause them to question their religious beliefs necessarily, but it certainly does say something about how we instill beliefs in our children, and how we do differentiate between Santa and Jesus. Honestly, if I went to the church of Santa instead of the Lutheran church when I was five, I would not have known the difference! Hello Scientology... ;) I think that believing in Santa and Jesus, just like believing in any myth can be a positive experience, and if my kids want to "play Santa" I will let them so they can exercise their imaginations, and have a fun experience at Christmas time. I like the idea of leaving only one present under the tree from Santa though, because I think it will important for them to know that presents don't magically grow on trees and aren't just given as a bribe for good behavior! Lilsugar- family tried to keep up the whole "Santa might not be real, but the Easter Bunny and Tooth fairy are!" for a year after I found out Santa wasn't real, but they split up a set of toys that they had used as stocking stuffers (from Santa) and put the rest in my Easter basket, even though I had been told Santa wasn't real!! I was so mad then! I definitely do NOT think this is the board to discuss religious beliefs in general, and I hope that I have not offended anyone, but I kind of feel like if people can talk about how different believing in Santa is from believing in Jesus, perhaps a different viewpoint to represent different religious beliefs might not be a bad idea. If I am out of line, I apologize.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
I never believed in Santa, for as long as I can remember my mom would wrap the gifts she bought for other people in the living room... so I sort of figured she was I got older I started helping her wrap the gifts so that was it. I don't plan on telling my daughter there is a Santa, I don't think its a good idea to lie about it to only have to explain it later on when she finds out the truth.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I was raised catholic and still told about santa, Really there is a difference in believing in the son of god and santa, give kids some credit with that one. I never questioned , nor have i ever heard of any child questioning the existence of Jesus Christ because the found out Santa wasnt real. I knew by a certain age that Santa wasnt a "Real" person, but i still believe in the spirit of christmas so santa lives on in my mind. I mean we didnt worship him, didnt go to church every sunday and sung hymns about Santa. I could, as a child, understand that believing in the tooth fairy, the easter bunny, and santa were not in the same catagory as believing in Jesus Christ. There is magic in childhood, and then there is Faith, kids know the difference. Give your kids the benefit of the doubt.
bealotus bealotus 9 years
''a magical dude'' that's hilarious :)
allenorton allenorton 9 years
i liked the idea of having one gift be from "santa" and the rest from family... that way the kids know what is important and yet still have the magical element of christmas.
lms lms 9 years
My parents never pretended that santa was real and i have never told my daughter that he was real. I just can't get into it. I am a grump in that way...I know.
Moms Moms 9 years
I was seven when a girl in my class told me Santa wasn't real because she found the red suit in her dad's closet. It was so disappointing because I realized it meant that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy also didn't exist and I hadn't lost a tooth yet. I love the spirit of Santa — kids only get to be kids for such a short time these days.
amber_castaldo amber_castaldo 9 years
I think it was about 7 years old when I walked out and found my parents putting stuff in the stocking. They told me they were just helping santa out but I knew better.
Princesskitty22 Princesskitty22 9 years
Telling your kids that Santa is real is not lying. I'm sorry, I don't want to offend anyone, but I'm sick of all this "Santa lie" thing. Children should be allowed to believe that there's magic in this world. It's something that we don't often get as adults; it's a luxury that they won't get when they grow up. I believed in Santa until I was 11 and I still believe in the idea of Santa. I will play the game with my children. I will not "lie"; I will play. Let them imagine. I think that's one of the best things you can do for your children.
pinkdragonfly pinkdragonfly 9 years
Haha jennifer76...Santa the "magical dude"! I love it! Makes me think of an ornament I saw out shopping with Santa in swim trunks and sunglasses carrying a surfboard lol. Duuude! :) Oh and I also agree with you about the lying issue.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
I think people really overthink things sometimes. I don't think I know a single person whose entire belief system was shattered when they found out Santa was pretend. Kids love the magic of Santa and Christmas. Let them have fun. And I don't understand this whole "lying" thing. Do people accuse their children of "lying" when they play dress up or make believe? There is a difference between pretending and lying, and pretending there is a jovial, magical dude who brings nice things to all the children of the world out of the kindness of his heart is just not a cruel lie.
bealotus bealotus 9 years
Asia84,that's so funny. My daughter wants some kind of a bird that you feed... I have no idea what that is,so I didn't get it for her,now she is going to think that Santa is a bad listener too,but I did get her the Holiday Barbie Collection that she wants.
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
Yeah, see, I've never actually had kids so it will probably all change when I do and see their puppy dog eyes going "what? that's not true!" But, thank you all SO much for responding because it's something I've thought about more than once and your comments give me more insight :)
Brendelwoman Brendelwoman 9 years
Bellanatella, that was exactly my thought when my first child was born. Why would he believe anything I have to say about God if I have lied about Santa to him? So my husband and I didn't talk about Santa. When asked about Santa I told him the historical truth of Saint Nick. When he was 3 or 4 he told his cousins the truth and then their mother had to rectify the situation with her sons. From then on I tried to tell him that some people believed in Santa and if they did, he shouldn't be the one to tell them otherwise. But kids seem to want to believe in Santa and he would ask me again and again about it. I finally decided to take the ambiguous route while still giving him something to be gidddy about. Last year when he was 5, we left a gift with no tag and he assumed it was from Santa. My husband made funny jokes about it maybe being from the dog and cat, but my son would always just say it had to be Santa. Because he seemed to have such strong convictions about it I am going to do the same thing this year and leave a gift with no tag and see what happens... I just thought it got too messy and a little sad trying to tell him the truth.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
when i was a kid and my parents had gifts with "From Santa", I would question how Santa brought me something (like a My Little Pony), and I only asked him for a Western Style Barbie????????? I use to think Santa wasn't a good listener. So after a while, I thought he was a dip-stick.
RedPointyHeels RedPointyHeels 9 years
My little one is too young to really understand the whole Santa thing, but I have some moral reservation about it. I don't want Bea thinking she should behave well so she can get material rewards, and that when she does get presents on Christmas they just appeared magically, as if my husband and I had nothing to do with it. I appreciate the spirit of Santa but think he has been distorted into this horrible, consumerist icon. But I do think that there is something magical and fun about Santa, and I don't want her to be that kid in kindergarten who says My mommy says Santa isn't real! So Vlad and I have decided that we will tell her that Santa brings her one special gift, and the rest are from Mommy and Daddy and her grandparents, etc. We also plan to do family vacations during the holidays when she gets older (it is basically the only time when my husband and I are guaranteed the same week off of work) so the focus of the holidays is being with family and celebrating each other. Im not sure why I am ranting and raving but it probably has something to do with the fact that my mother-in-law is very put-off by these ideas of ours, but whatever, Beatrice is our kid, not hers. And while I am a very non-traditional person, I do appreciate the more traditional parts of the season, so I am excited to be spending the holidays with my family this year! In any case, merry Christmas and happy holidays!
wickedk8 wickedk8 9 years
I believed for a long least until I was 10 I think, but by that point I had a baby sister and kept on believing for her. She's 12 now and is still putting on the Charade. I think she's worried that she won't get presents anymore if she "stops believing".
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 9 years
I think the first born in a family is always a little longer to figure it out because parents are still keeping up the Santa tradition for the youngins. I was abou 9 or 10, but my youngest sibling was 6 or 7.
macgirl macgirl 9 years
My 8 year old asked me yesterday if he was real. He said some of the kids in his class were telling him that he wasn't. I didn't lie to him but I didn't tell him the truth either. I just asked him what he thought, he said "yes" so I said "well that's all that really matters then". I was never told point blank by my parents that santa wasn't real, I just figured it out on my own and it was fine. I don't feel like I'm lying to him, just trying to perpetuate his innocence. He already knows about sex and where babies come from due to me being pregnant this year- why spoil everything?
rgrl rgrl 9 years
I'd say about 6-7. I think that's how old I was. I also think that's the age where most kids start to mature and don't have such an imaginary mind anymore :( sad!
letsgetloud21 letsgetloud21 9 years
Great thought indeed bella..
bellanatella bellanatella 9 years
I've always wondered whether lying to your kids about Santa was a good idea. Wouldn't it affect religion? Say for example if the family's Catholic, who's to say the kid will believe in God if they've been lied to before about Santa and their parents and everyone around egged them on to keep believing? Just a thought.
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