When is it an appropriate age to break "the news" about Santa?

Kirstin - posted on 01/05/2010 ( 160 moms have responded )

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I had to be careful how I worded that...not that I am interested in doing so but my husband has been bugging me for nearly a year (our oldest is 9 1/2 and still believes)...he doesn't want him to find out from a friend, he would rather him hear it form him but I argue the point...

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Tanya - posted on 01/05/2010

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my guy is 7 and still believes....when the time comes we plan to present it like this.....



Santa is the spirit of giving in all of us....when you are little 'santa' is there to teach the spirit of giving to you and when the time comes...when you are old enough.... that spirit is what you share and teach to others. You can be 'Santa' to others and keep the spirit of giving going.....



Cheesy, but has worked in my family for generations....

Cindy - posted on 01/08/2010

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My son is 9 1/2 as well, and where he's asked about Santa for a year or two, he always drops it. It's as if he knows, but doesn't want to admit that he does. I asked what HE believed.. and he said he thought Santa was real. My husband and I have discussed when to tell him, and we both think that it'd be best to not do it anywhere near Christmas..but maybe now that it's over with..just in case he does get upset, although we really don't think he will. He's a smart kid. A lot of it hasn't made sense to him for awhile now.
As far as all of the replies saying "I never told that lie to my child", well... if you see Santa as a spirit of giving, it isn't a lie, is it? Me and my siblings, as well as my husband and his, all believed in Santa growing up. And yes, it may have initially been upsetting to find out he wasn't real, but it's also a part of the wonderful memories of Christmas that we all have. Our parents pulled off some really great Santa tricks throughout the years. Not once have we ever been upset that they "lied" to us.

Grace - posted on 01/06/2010

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My oldest daughters are 10 and 7 both still belive. Their friends at school tell them santas not real but my girls still belive. I find if you talk of Santa as a real person, to them he is. Even if they find out from school (kids dont know more then parents) your children want to belive you!!!!!! Dont forget we teach our kids how to play and pretend beliving in Santa is just another way to play and prentend it makes Christmas that much funner. I think we should let are children let us know when their to old to play and pretend. Trust me, they want to stay young and innocent as long as possible.

Karen - posted on 01/06/2010

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My dd is 9 1/2 as well and still believes. I dont want to spoil the fun and have wondered as well. But this year I decided like everything else, she can learn this one from her friends. The only thing we dont want her learning from school is about sex.

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Minna - posted on 02/08/2012

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We never wrapped things unless we wanted to disguise them and parents and or Santa pretty much became a non-issue. When they asked for expensive game things , I just said that the elves were behind in tech and mom and dad may or may not have the $'s for it. A 9 year old knows that there is no Santa, he is either playing into his parent's 'MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS" thing ,or hanging on to childhood purposely Why not? Preteen-hood is the pits. .I have shamelessly lied about everything from miniature dinosaurs in the garden to 'alien night''. I invented that one when my preschoolers were afraid after a T.V. show. It involved getting glow in the dark super balls and stuff randomly. I can't imagine a child feeling betrayed by this sort of thing,. It's all fun .Keep it fun. Reality creeps in soon enough. They find out there is no Santa,or they're not really a princess. I was always led by them. They're seldom so point blank that it can't be handled by gentle humor.No, I don't believe about lying to your kids about anything important. This is just whimsy and kids will learn to distinguish this from from self serving lies. As In all of parenting, the growing process is organic and everything doesn't need big sit down talks[that's for later]. Kids need and want to believe in Santa, and then they don't.. Both are cool, but come on , the Santa years are the best time you'll ever have as a parent. Let them figure it out themselves. Minna

Angela - posted on 02/08/2012

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I think they find out in their own time. I didn't tell any of my children Santa doesn't exist. I also think that people who say they do not 'lie' to their children as if no one should do it are taking things a bit too seriously. Do you not tell fairy tales? or read fiction books? if so do you explain after each story that you are lying? of course not, make believe and fantasy are part of a child's life. It creates imagination and fun :)

Minna - posted on 02/02/2012

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I know this an old post, but it made me laugh. I remembered that when my kids wanted to know if Santa is real I told them that all I know is that kids who believe in him get better gifts.This is absolutely true because as they got beyond the Santa years they started to hear that some things were just too expensive. Minna

Rebecca - posted on 02/26/2010

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well, my older daughter figured it out when she was 5. shortly after xmas she said: mummy and daddy are lying to me -- there isn't really father xmas and YOU bought all my presents. i said, yes you are right, and i am was not lying, i was just pretending because sometimes its fun to pretend. my theory on the subject is if they confront you about it, and indicate that they have doubts or that they no longer believe, tell them the truth. otherwise, let them have the fantasy for as long as it lasts.



my younger daughter is just 3 and hasn't figured it out yet, and my older daughter was trying to tell her the 'truth' but i didn't let her, i pulled her aside and told her to let her sister have the fantasy for a few years, cos its fun to pretend. she agreed, and felt like she was in on a fun conspiracy.



however, when my 3 year old of her own accord presents doubts, i'll be honest with her -- again saying it was not a lie, but make-believe -- i also let my children make-believe a lot, and they know the difference between lying and make-believe.

Rebecca - posted on 02/26/2010

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well, my older daughter figured it out when she was 5. shortly after xmas she said: mummy and daddy are lying to me -- there isn't really father xmas and YOU bought all my presents. i said, yes you are right, and i am was not lying, i was just pretending because sometimes its fun to pretend. my theory on the subject is if they confront you about it, and indicate that they have doubts or that they no longer believe, tell them the truth. otherwise, let them have the fantasy for as long as it lasts.



my younger daughter is just 3 and hasn't figured it out yet, and my older daughter was trying to tell her the 'truth' but i didn't let her, i pulled her aside and told her to let her sister have the fantasy for a few years, cos its fun to pretend. she agreed, and felt like she was in on a fun conspiracy.



however, when my 3 year old of her own accord presents doubts, i'll be honest with her -- again saying it was not a lie, but make-believe -- i also let my children make-believe a lot, and they know the difference between lying and make-believe.

Rebecca - posted on 02/26/2010

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well, my older daughter figured it out when she was 5. shortly after xmas she said: mummy and daddy are lying to me -- there isn't really father xmas and YOU bought all my presents. i said, yes you are right, and i am was not lying, i was just pretending because sometimes its fun to pretend. my theory on the subject is if they confront you about it, and indicate that they have doubts or that they no longer believe, tell them the truth. otherwise, let them have the fantasy for as long as it lasts.



my younger daughter is just 3 and hasn't figured it out yet, and my older daughter was trying to tell her the 'truth' but i didn't let her, i pulled her aside and told her to let her sister have the fantasy for a few years, cos its fun to pretend. she agreed, and felt like she was in on a fun conspiracy.



however, when my 3 year old of her own accord presents doubts, i'll be honest with her -- again saying it was not a lie, but make-believe -- i also let my children make-believe a lot, and they know the difference between lying and make-believe.

Samantha - posted on 02/23/2010

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I have a really funny story about how I found out that Santa was not real. My mom had kept my baby teeth in a cake frosting container under the sink. I was rooting around in the cabinet to find something to satisfy my sweet tooth and I found the frosting. When I opened it up, I was shocked! There were my baby teeth still wrapped up in paper towels and tape as I had left them under my pillow. My mother was in the bathroom and I just barged right in and confronted her about lying to me about the tooth fairy. I put two and two together and realized that there also is no Easter Bunny or Santa. I, at the time was devestated. Now that I have a son, I have decided to let him believe of these magical beings for as long as he can. I had such wonderful memories of these holidays and the excitement that came the night before. My husband's father told him that there was no Santa when he was 5 and I feel as though he was robbed of a few more magical years. I think that he feels that way to because he wants our son to believe as long as he can.

Beverly - posted on 02/23/2010

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I didn't have to I let them believe until they made the decision on their own. they eventually will but mine were all 4 years apart so I had to make the older two shut up so the youngest could also enjoy. They also figured out once Santa was gone the amount of presents went down. LOL

Beverly - posted on 02/23/2010

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I didn't have to I let them believe until they made the decision on their own. they eventually will but mine were all 4 years apart so I had to make the older two shut up so the youngest could also enjoy. They also figured out once Santa was gone the amount of presents went down. LOL

Nikki - posted on 02/23/2010

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We decided that we wanted our children to find out from us, so that we could explain ourselves. I didn't want my kids to feel like they were being lied to. We told our oldest this past Christmas. He was 10 on the verge of 11. We decided it was time. He had been asking for the the past couple of Christmas's and had started to get teased for believing. I didn't want it to get out of hand and have him resent us for keeping it from him. I also wanted to be sure he did not spill the beans to his siblings. It went well. He understands that we as parents have the duty to spread the Christmas spirit by making it magical and fun for children.

Nikki - posted on 02/23/2010

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We decided that we wanted our children to find out from us, so that we could explain ourselves. I didn't want my kids to feel like they were being lied to. We told our oldest this past Christmas. He was 10 on the verge of 11. We decided it was time. He had been asking for the the past couple of Christmas's and had started to get teased for believing. I didn't want it to get out of hand and have him resent us for keeping it from him. I also wanted to be sure he did not spill the beans to his siblings. It went well. He understands that we as parents have the duty to spread the Christmas spirit by making it magical and fun for children.

Barbilee - posted on 02/22/2010

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What news? What do you mean? What are you trying to tell me?



What do you want to tell him?

I will tell you what I tell my daughters every time they ask.

Of course there is a Santa Claus. No you can't see him when he comes, you just have to have faith that he will. It's like electricity, you can't really see it until it arrives in your light bulb. Santa is the same thing, you can't see him until your present arrives under the tree.

My oldest understands that there may not be a man who flies through the skies on Christmas Eve, But she KNOWS there is a spirit of Santa that shows up every year.

My 10 year old received a picture from Santa taken in our kitchen 3 years ago (blessings to Photoshop) and there is NO WAY she will believe that a man does not exist. Each have their own ideas and each are very happy.

As for the kids in school who don't believe, I feel sad for them, their parents feel that keeping magic alive is not necessary. They are missing out on the blessings of faith, belief and yes, magic.

Kirstin, let them be little. Let them believe what they need to believe. Trust the process.

If you ask me if I believe, I will tell you YES! I believe in the spirit, I believe in the magic, I believe in the love. Ask your husband if THAT "the news" that what he wants to tell your child. Then absolutely, tell you child THAT!



Barbilee

Family Success Coach

Norine - posted on 02/22/2010

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For this reason, we've never taught our children to believe in Santa. How are you going to reconcile the fact that the Bible says, "all good and perfect gifts come from above" and mentions nothing about Santa Claus? So our children have always expected their presents (and anything awesome in their lives) to come from Jesus. Besides, it's Jesus' birthday we're celebrating anyway. I do not envy the conversation you are going to need to have with your child. Good luck. You are going to need it.

Cheraki - posted on 02/21/2010

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We never hide the fact from our children that Santa is not real.... They know mom and dad buys the gifts they get at Christmas....



However every Christmas eve we read Twas the Night Before Christmas....after making cookies...

Our children enjoy a cup of hot chocolate and cookies during the story then after they set out milk and cookies for Santa...Even though they know he's not real...



They then go to bed..They know it's so thier dad and I can plan the next days events and finish any wrapping that needs to be done.. Of course there are no presents under the tree until Christmas morning...

We put on the name tags from mom and dad...



I believe that being honest is the best way to go...



Trust me on this one...With you being honest with your child in early years... when they get to be teens the chances of the being honest with you increases... They will know you haven't lied to them ever about anything and they will return that.



Good Luck and Best Wishes

Carla - posted on 02/21/2010

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All children will find out one day and sometimes it will shock them or even upset them but they get over the shock,I know I did.I found out when I was 6 years old but that was because I caught my dad and my grandparents putting the presents under the tree,my dad figured that he didn't want to lie to me anymore so he told me that "Santa" wasn't real,I cried for a few hours and I was shocked but 2 days later I was fine.Like Shannon Fluker said Chritsmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ.If I were you I would tell him soon before his friend tells him.

Rebecca - posted on 02/20/2010

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My 9-year-old son has asked me if there is a Santa. I said, well Santa was a saint, St. Nicolas. Being a saint, he works for Christ. He and Christ teach us how to give. There are many ways to give. He has asked me if Santa brings gifts or if I do, and I told him, with the spirit of giving (or the spirit of Santa and Christ), I do. Even after this discussion, he still asks me how Santa gets down the chimney. Perhaps I am stringing him along with my vague answers. Do I believe in Santa? The answer is yes, in spirit. So it appears, he will deal with the reality of Santa in his own way when he is ready to. I think the magic is just too wonderful to let go of yet.

Rebecca - posted on 02/19/2010

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Please don't tell him. Let him find it out for himself. My two youngest are 13 and 15 yrs.

My daughter fiqured it out last yr. My son this year it keeps the innocence of chilhood. If they lose that they grow up to fast.

Charlotte - posted on 02/18/2010

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Hi. I have two older kids, they found out on their own. they noticed that something was up, so i told them. They were both 9-10 when i finally told them the truth. It didn't bother them knowing that there is no santa. Infact they enjoy it more, because know they come with me shopping, but they have to wait till christmas to open their presents, and still play around the fact that there is a santa for my youngest one.

Jayne - posted on 02/18/2010

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I haven't had to tell any of my boys that Santa doesn't exist - in fact I did my very best to keep it going (much to their amusement) - to be honest I actually think children realise themselves a lot earlier than we think. There is absolutely nothing wrong with keeping the magic going - encourage the spirit of giving both in word and deed and you won't go very far wrong. (Incidently my 21 year old will still give me a present tagged 'from Santa' x

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My oldest is almost 11 and i think (even though he hasn't admitted it) that he is starting to question if Santa is real or not. I say let them believe as long as they wont. They grow up too fast as it is.

Brooke - posted on 02/16/2010

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Here is our house theory...when you stop believing "publically", you stop getting presents from Santa. I have 3 and the oldest is 12 who still believes in her way. I feel that I am not being untruthful, when you consider "who" Santa is to our family. Although Christmas is about the birth of Christ, it is also about what he stands for - giving unselfishly. Our family finds opportunities through church and school, to give to those who have less. My children pick out the gifts, wrap them, write a note, and sign it Santa. They do not know these children and will never meet them....in essence, THEY become SANTA. So, I truly believe Santa is still alive all over, every Christmas - that is, Santa's essence is what I chose to share with my children and to keep them believing forever.

Delta - posted on 02/15/2010

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My daughter figured it out when she was 8 years old. No one told her, we kept telling her he is real, but for some reason she knew that wasn't true and they guy in town dressed up like Santa was just in Santa suite. So we gave up and said yes you are right. It all depends on how many younger kids you have. We keep telling her with the new baby on the way that she can't not let him/her know that Santa and any of the holiday people are not real because this kid needs a childhood too.

Catherine - posted on 02/15/2010

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That is a great way of looking at the whole Santa thing. I never thought of it as a 'game' and children love playing games, it brings out their imagination and helps their mind expand and grow, There would be no novels in the world if we quashed their imagination at such a young age.

Karen - posted on 02/14/2010

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Most kids WANT to believe - and continue to even after they kind of already "know" the truth. I considered never playing the Santa game to avoid what some call the "lie", but in retrospect it isn't a lie. Its a game and its playing with your children. You are playing make believe with them. I don't think I'd ever sit my kids down and tell them the game is over - time to grow up LOL. That happens on its own. My kids are 10 and 11 and they have some friends who believe, and some who don't. You just know that they "know", but aren't ready to give up the fun yet. We do talk about how we are all "Santa" when we enjoy giving and surprising others. I see nothing wrong with it, and we always talk about Santa as being the "spirit" of giving. I say let them hold on to "the game" as long as they want to!

Catherine - posted on 02/14/2010

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I agree with Shannon. I have always taught my daughter about St Nicholas and the real reason behind Santa. And have told her that most children believe he is real, so not to say anything to upset them. My daughter is 8, and the strangest thing is now she is starting to think he is real, I still remind her about St Nick, but then think a child's imagination is great, and she knows that the real purpose of Christmas is to celebrate Jesus' birthday.

Brandi - posted on 02/12/2010

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My son is 8 and has had doubts since Kindergarten( the kids at his school are from so many backgrounds that they all believe something different). When he asked me, I told him to think about it this way: If he believes in Santa, he gets Santa presents. If he doesn't, he only gets presents from Mom and Dad. My husband told him( when he was asked) " it's important to your Mom that you still believe in Santa." My son knows their is no Santa, but he plays along to make me happy, and ends up having fun with it. He also can use me as an excuse to his friends who want to tease him( "I'm only doing this because my Mom's a dork", or " I get more presents if I play along") His buddies think that's smart, I get to pretend my little boy still believes, and my son feels like he's got one over on me. We all win.

Candy - posted on 02/12/2010

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Kids will usually believe as long as they want to, regardless of what other people tell them. We are Jewish, but we celebrate Christmas at a friend's house every year. At 12, my daughter still chose to still believe in Santa and the tooth fairy, even though in her heart, she knew it wasn't true. If a friend tells your 9 year old there's no Santa, my guess is, he'll argue the point. I think that's better than hearing it from you, which will make it all too real. I say let them be little as long as they want to -- they grow up way too fast.

Selina - posted on 02/11/2010

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I say play along. My son is 81/2 and he still believes. We also do not let him see the gifts until Santa delivers on Christmas Eve. He knows we buy gifts, but we have told him that if Santa is busy(or elves are busy) and can't get to something on the list we take care of it for him. He has also been told by friends that Santa is not real, but we have kept him believing. We also feed the reindeer -- spread magic food on the front lawn, and put out ccokies and milk for santa. It is fun and all my kids love it.

Kelly - posted on 02/10/2010

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We have the same dynamic in our house. My husband was resentful when he found out Santa wasn't real, and wants to tell our daughters as soon as they can handle the news. He even tried to tell our oldest this year in a round about way, but she wasn't ready for it, and didn't understand what he was trying to say. I figured it out on my own and didn't feel resentment. When I confronted my mother she said, "You're right" in a very matter of fact tone. I think the best way to handle it is if the child comes to you with questions, be honest, but if they don't let them believe. The worst thing would be trying to reinforce the belief when it starts to crumble. Just be proud of your kids for figuring it out, however they figure it out. They can't stay little forever and we shouldn't try to make them.

Marie - posted on 02/09/2010

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No!!! Don't tell let them figure it out on there oun. My 11 year came to me and told me that santa was not real. I said but dont tell your sister.That was three years ago and my youngest still belives in him. My oldest still puts milk and cookies out for him then tells me to enjoy it when she goes to bed. They will get it at some point.

Nancy - posted on 02/09/2010

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Your child probably already knows, but chooses to believe. I am 39 and I still believe in the ideals and miracles that happen.

Beth Ann - posted on 02/09/2010

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You don't have to sit them down and tell them...they figure it out or find out on the playground...My two oldest (11 & 9) know, but are really good about playing along so that the two youngest (7 & 5) don't catch on. They also figure out the tooth fairy thing as well. Just keep playing along, even when they know...it is fun and part of the celebration.

Michalene - posted on 02/09/2010

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hi, my seven year old still believes in santa, last year i started telling him that the people who love you are santa, because xmas is about jesus birth and the gifts he received were given from the heart. i have a childrens' book "The story of Christmas" by Patricia A. Pingry. It's short and sweet and my son now knows that the presents he gets are from the people that love him. hey just call me mommy santa. lol

Jill - posted on 02/09/2010

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kids believe until they want to believe. My 3 kids found out at different ages. My middle child believed the longest, even when the other 2 tried convincing her he wasn't real. I think she still believes. We have always taught the meaning behind christmas was giving. We couldn't give anything this year and my kids were more upset about that than when they found out Santa wasn't real.

Jane - posted on 02/08/2010

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I tell my daughter that if you don't believe you don't receive it's keeping her believing for the moment. she goes to a catholic school so the meaning of Christmas is also covered

Heather - posted on 02/08/2010

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my daugther is 7 and she stoped believing when she was 3yrs old some kids will stop but i would not tell her/him thats santa is not real

Leatte - posted on 02/08/2010

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Some kids on my daughters' school bus was telling them that there was no santa, my husband and I explained that santa is real in our hearts and only so if you believe in him. They are 9 and have a 3 year old little sister, we saved face for this past christmas but are thinking of talking to them beacuse we don;t want them to ruin it for our youngest daughter.

Jeri - posted on 02/05/2010

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I don't believe in lying to my kids...if they ask me directly whether or not Santa is real, I will tell them. They are 11 and 8 and still believe (they have voiced some doubts and have asked some questions which I've managed to field but neither has asked the one direct question...my 11 year old actually isn't a firm believer...more of a no he's not real but, well, maybe he is)...I think they want to believe. Maybe I'll tell them when they're 18 :) :)

Cynthia - posted on 02/05/2010

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My kids (4,5) know that santa is not real. They have been taught since they were little that Christmas is about when Jesus was born. But we also tell them not to pick on other kids b/c they believe in santa. However, I remember when i a was about 8 ,I asked my mom who was santa, b/c other kids telling me he was not real. She then told me that her and my dad was. I don't remember being hurt.

Kathy - posted on 02/04/2010

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My daughter knows that we have to pay for what Santa bring, thus the fact that she never got EVERYTHING she ever wanted. She also knows that many kids don't believe in Santa. I told her as long as she believes, Santa will bring her presents. When she stops believing, Mom and Dad will bring her presents. She asked about kids who don't believe but get gifts from Santa under their tree. I told her that their parents are getting the gifts and putting from Santa. Believe me at 9 1/2 your son's already heard it from a friend, mine heard it in Kindergarten (she's 8 1/2). She did ask me if I believed and I told her I did, because Santa was once a real person and did kind deeds for people. The joy of giving remains and the mystery of Santa is still in our hearts. She also knows that Santa has nothing to do with the real reason for Christmas (Jesus' birth) Hope I helped you.

Sharonda - posted on 02/04/2010

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My husband and I was honest from the beginning. We did not sugar coat the conversation. We just don't believe in Santa in our house. We don't like to mix characters with holidays that we celebrate in our home.

[deleted account]

I remember when I found out. My dad was using the polaroid camera to take pictures of Santa's "loot" and it woke me up. I snuck down the hall and peeked around the corner and saw Mom and Dad. The next morning, they claimed it was Santa's doing (the deliver of loot). I was the youngest and my siblings were kind enough not to blow it for me. I never did tell my parents that I saw them. I just eased into letting them know that I knew the truth during the next Christmas season.



I think it depends on the mental/emotional age of your child and how much they really look forward to that surprise and wonderment. Once they find out about Santa, the rest of the fairy tale ends.....Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns, etc. My son is 10 and he is otherwise like a 14 year old. But when it comes to this stuff, its important to keep the charade up. I also have an 8, 5 and 4 year old.

Alicia - posted on 02/04/2010

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I think kids need to "believe" in something for as long as they want. Kids grow up way to fast these days and i love to see a child still enjoy their "innocence" and not be tainted by the world. Let ur son enjoy being a kid for a long time to come. Blink and they are grown and have a family of their own. Cherish it.

Gillian - posted on 02/03/2010

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The right age... When they start asking questions about it in front of younger children. When they could be the cause of a younger child finding out, its best to tell the truth.



In my house... I am very strict that... As soon as you say Santa doesn't exist, you dont get anything. As I tell my teenagers, "If I EVER hear you say Santa doesn't exist, YOU will be the one who doesn't get ANYTHING from Santa." My 10yo was questioning it this year, and because of fear of him spoiling it for my 6yo, I told him. It is amazing how quickly the teenagers respond, "I believe in Santa!" whenever there is a question about him! HAHA...

Kelley - posted on 02/03/2010

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NEVER:):):) My most favorite saying comes from the movie "The Polar Express"... "The magic of Christmas lies within your HEART".



In our house the saying goes..."Ya don't believe ya don't receive:):)" I am 42 yrs old, with 3 AMAZING boys & I am STILL hoping there really is a Santa!!! It's the most MAGICAL time of the year...no reason to ever have to spoil that gift. There are so few in life!!!

Laura - posted on 02/03/2010

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That's very true. My boys actually knew far before they told me. In fact, they admitted to me that they used Santa to get the things they wanted.

Josephine - posted on 02/03/2010

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SANTA DOESN'T EXIST???!!! Say it ain't so!! What's wrong with you people??? He DOES exist if you BELIEVE! As long as the kids believe in him, don't rip it away from them... That's the power of childhood; to be able to believe in things that grown-ups say don't exist and to have dreams and imagination. :-)

[deleted account]

just be there to explain when her friends tell her ,my son's friends told him and told them I have faith he exists just like I have faith that God exists so he was okay until he wanted to know, my daughter never dicussed it with us she just went along because she has younger sibs. fight the imortant ones save your energy. Whats one more year childhood is special Adulthood is work!

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