I need your help. Again. 

OK everybody I need your help. 

What age did your kids stop believing in Santa Claus? 
How old were they when you still able to pull it off?
The Santa at Busch Gardens is really good. They do a whole thing with elves in the house, and they really sell it. Seeing him, Savvy totally believes. 
The Santa suit in my office is not so good. She’s going to know it’s me. Or uncle Warren. I didn’t even try that one last year. Too risky. The kid is too smart to fall for a fake beard. 
The online video… it’s pretty cheesy and I think she’ll see it’s fake, too. 
Here’s the problem: I think if ANY of the Santa stuff gets detect as a fraud, it all does. The whole thing blows up and she stops believing. So I want to play it safe – but I want to still have everyone enjoy Christmas, including the parents.
So? What age did your kids stop believing it?

Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

45 thoughts on “I need your help. Again. 

  1. That’s so hard. I remember some years when Maddie would ask ‘Is Santa real?’ I think I answered ‘Do YOU think he’s real?’ If she is asking the question, then it’s starting to click in her head that it’s creepy that an old stranger comes in the house and leaves presents and eats cookies. At some point, she’ll realize that Santa IS real, but it’s not the big guy in the red suit.

    I think it’s worse when an older child ruins it for a younger child when they still believe.

    I don’t think I helped.

  2. Third grade. Keep it alive as long as possible; it adds to a child’s imagination, kindness quotient, and also reading. The older child can be part of this, too.

  3. I seem to remember my daughter doubting around age 7. It seems to get younger with each generation. My daughter and son-in-law say they’re not planning to raise their own due-any-day-now daughter to believe in Santa Claus; they don’t want her to find out later that they’d lied to her. I have been struggling with how to approach this dilemma, since we are a family that enjoys celebrating the (secular) Christmas holiday. I’m thinking we need a way to introduce Santa as a literary figure in cultures around world, rather than the source of the presents under our tree. Here’s my thought: Although your daughter was raised with a traditional understanding of Santa, perhaps, as a writer, you can explain that Santa is real to people all over the world because of their shared experience of reading the STORY of Santa; he’s just not real in the physical sense. If she’s not already familiar with other countries’ version of Santa, this is a great opportunity to introduce her to them by reading those stories to or with her. Does that help at all?

  4. I help to keep the santa that visits our home alive by outing the store santas. I explain that they are just people dressed as Santa because Santa is a busy dude. Especially around Christmas. I also have a first grader and I’ve had to explain all the other Santa’s to him. My daughter is 6yrs older and her take on it now is that he is real if you want him to be real, what fun is there in him not being real. Zero. So I still do all the same Santa stuff I always have and she enjoys it.

    1. Hmm. I definitely agree about Santa being busy and needing some surrogates. Because when you take her to meet Santa two different times and he sounds completely different and looks very different, it’s going to raise some questions!

      1. Exactly! Also our Santa only wraps in white tissue paper and leaves no more than two presents, the rest come from the family. It’s just easier to not slip up later. Lol

        1. I am SO glad we are not the only people that do things like this! Every year I have signed “Santa’s” gifts with this elaborate scrolling handwriting and a little deer print. Some years I have been so exhausted I wanted to drop over and just die right where I stood and yet, I did it because I wanted my children to have a tiny bit of magic. Our world is harsh sometimes, why not let one day a year be pretend and wondrous? <3

          1. I also do a special swirly print in the presents.😆
            I am a major advocate for keeping the magic going. It’s all about promoting an imagination. Fewer and fewer kids use theirs now.

  5. I stopped believing when I was 6. Me and the neighbor kid caught our parents setting everything up, and poof! That was it. This is the reason my own kid does not dabble in anything Santa. I don’t want to lie to him. We make a celebration where we focus on new year, new opportunities, being grateful and dreaming, not some person that is heavily commercialized.

      1. If you ask me, good riddance! It is when people finaly were rid of this need for stories and pointless shopping and started giving me what I wanted in the first place: BOOKS! Not endless santa chocolates that are unhealthy anyways 😛

  6. Well good to hear Lucy still believes! As another almost sane Brit my take is this … my 6 year old and 8 year old grandsons believe in Santa and some. My 11 year old granddaughter believes in magic, and Christmas is, so she’ll not let go ever of the spirit personified by Santa, oh and she’s a writer, first work to be published this December in an anthology of children’s Olympic stories. The Santa thing for me needs to have distance to keep belief alive, perhaps it’s a little different in the UK, or at least my family, no one dresses up at home, we have traditional stories we read in the build up to the Day and of course do all the schools related stuff, sometimes I get the feeling my thirty something daughters still believe … I just pay the bills!

  7. kiddo is seven and a half and still believes. Last year we had a brief moment of “Is Santa real mom?”
    I went all esoteric. “If Santa is the idea that we do something kind for someone else for no reason other than to help them or make them happy, then every time we do that, Santa lives.”
    He totally bought it.

  8. My son and daughter believed in Santa at 9 but questioned it from there on in. My boy has just turned 10, he’s excited, he thinks Santas bringing the new Xbox. 😳 But Santa doesn’t make electronics, only toys.

  9. Again, my 2 cents’, Dan. It depends on the culture of the family and that particular child. We have a skeptical 9-year-old who has been doubting since she was probably 6-7. Then again, we have a more sensitive, but younger child (almost 7) who still seems to partly believe. Not to get personal, Dan, but I think it helps if you have a belief in God/Allah/Creator/Yahweh/Higher Power, then children are more likely to be able to ‘suspend disbelief,’ so to speak and go along with Santa, Tooth Fairy, etc. Just my anecdote; probably why both of our kids lean strongly to partly toward skepticism. I won’t even go into Krampus and/or pagan (pre-Germanic or not) Xmas traditions. All in all, I think make it fun and they like to go along—and good luck to you and your wife with your daughter’s blooming skepticism.

  10. Well, through 2 daughters and 5 grandkids they become skeptical around age 7. About 3rd grade (9-10 yrs) they have Santa figured out. However, that said, even though they know the truth, they are good at playing along so as not to hurt Mom’s feelings.
    “Look son, I know you’re smart. Got everything figured out but Mom loves the magic of Santa. Let’s give her another year. Okay?”
    Kids are willing to play along for the fun and gifts. LOL

  11. It depends on the child. Some like to continue to believe even after they’ve figured it out or caught wind from friends that the whole Santa person thing is a farce. Ages 3-7 or 8 is when I’ve witnessed kids stop believing. Sometimes they continue to play along to get more gifts (from Santa), or because they like the magic of it.

      1. It is fun. Magical.

        Last year, I posted this on Facebook: “Dropped off a card and gift for Santa today. We believe 😉

        For perspective, my four kids ranged from age 16 to 27 last year. We still get Santa photos taken, and now with the two grandsons as well.

  12. I don’t truly know if I, or my kids, ever truly believed. If you asked on, say, a test or something, I truly think both of my kids and I would have answered “well, logically, that just doesn’t make sense.”

    Santa was more this elaborate game of make-believe and pretend that the grownups played along with the kids at Christmastime. It was fun to all imagine this magical thing together.

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