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A recent survey has found out that children stop believing in Santa aged 8. 

With Christmas creeping ever closer, we asked adults when they first found out that Father Christmas wasn’t real. 20% said they found out when they were 8 years old, while 17% said they found out when they were just 6, with age 7 also being a popular age for finding out the truth. Over 20% of respondents also said they never believed or it wasn't part of their culture's folklore. 

When Did You Find Out Santa Wasn't Real?

Writing a letter to Santa might be a festive ritual most of us can recall from childhood, but the survey found that 37% had never wrote a letter to Father Christmas when they were younger.

Did You Ever Write A Letter to Santa?

They were also asked what lies their parents told them to keep believing in Santa, respondents replied with the following:

  • You won’t get presents if you don’t believe
  • That he comes only during the night and will not leave presents if I'm awake
  • Just saying that he will come to my home if I was good but only if I'm asleep
  • They explained the presence of two department store Santas in the same street by saying that one wasn't real, but he had friends help him out to make sure more children get a chance to meet santa.
  • They lied to me that Santa will come into the house from the window
  • He doesn’t deliver gifts if you don’t sleep
  • That Santa wouldn’t come if your eyes were open in bed
  • He brings gifts if you're well behaved
  • Those taking part in the survey were also asked if they believed in other fantasy figures. 51% said they believed in the Tooth Fairy, while 17% said they believed in the Easter Bunny

    So, with the above findings in mind, have you told your little ones the truth about Santa? If not, have you planned when or how you will tell them? If not, we have a few tips below on what to say to your children about Santa. 

    - If your child has been quizzing you a lot about Santa’s existence, then this could be a good sign that your little one is ready to discuss and find out the truth. Sit them down and speak to them one to one about it. 

    - Let them find out naturally. You don’t necessarily need to tell them at a specific age. If they are still believing them just let them believe. Don’t compare your children to other in the family or your friends kids. Every child has a different imagination and will find out at different ages. 

    - Speak to older children about your younger children. If the eldest knows the truth, tell them to keep up the charade for the little ones. Ask them to be part of the secret and allow them to help out with keeping the magic alive. 

    - Don’t put too much focus on Santa. It can be easy to make Father Christmas the centre of the season, but Christmas is so much more than just presents. Focus more on being with family and other traditions that this time of year brings with it. 

    - Tell them that it’s not just Santa that brings gifts, but other family members can do so too. If they notice aunts and uncles bringing presents, then they may start wondering. If they know that gifts come from family and friends as well as Father Christmas, then this may prevent them from asking too many questions. 

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