When do you cave in and tell your child there really isn't a Santa?

My 9 year old asked my husband the other day if Santa is real or is it you and mommy. Being caught off guard he kept to the secret and told her of course there is a Santa. I have been thinking about telling her if she asks again just so she won't ruin it for the younger 2. I don't think she would tell them if I included her in the wrapping and pretending to be Santa on Christmas Eve.

At what age did you find out that Santa wasn't real?

I was about 6 or 7 and my older sister told me on Christmas Eve, I was devistated!

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Never told them Santa was real. Just a man in a suit like Barney,Easter Barney, Mickey Mouse and all the rest. Now that they are teens they have learned about the real St. Nicholas.
I never told my children there was not a Santa.

I always reminded them that I always tell the truth (and they agreed).

Then I told them that I believe in the "Spirit of Santa Claus"

It's the truth. I do believe in the Spirit of Santa Claus.

Eventually, they figured it out. I still tell them though, that they'd better believe in the Spirit of Santa Claus or he won't come. My boys are 16, 18, and 21 now.
I think by age 9 a child should know the truth. Most of her friends at school probably know . My son was 5 when he posed the question to me. Since it was a direct question I gave him a direct answer. I told him that Santa is the spirit of giving in all of us. That is why we all get such a thrill out of Christmas. I also shared that when we find a gift or money to pay for something unexpectedly at X-Mas tha too is the spirit of Santa helping us out. Just urge her not to tell your younger one so she can believe in the magic of Santa Clause a few more years too. . Maybe you can enlist your daughter to help you be Santa to your younger child to make her Christmas brighter.
I was kind of a late bloomer, and I think I was one of the last of my 6th grade classmates to figure it out. ;)

My son asked last fall when he was 6 if Santa was real. I said "what do YOU think?" and he thought about it for a while, and then decided that it was probably just Daddy and me. I confirmed his suspicions. My five year old daughter knows that Santa is just pretend, because once my son figured it out I decided not to play the whole game anymore. She knows that reindeer don't fly, snowmen don't come to life, and Mommy and Daddy put the presents under the tree.
Well, since she has already been asking this is what my mother still tells us to this day. "There is and will always be a Santa as long as you believe. Santa doesn't necessarily have to be a fat jolly man dressed in red, Santa can be the little lady next door that bakes you cookies just so you will come and sit with her for a few minutes, Santa can be a mommy and a daddy that gets you special things on Christmas because you are the most special thing in their life, you can even be a Santa by doing nice things for people, Christmas isnt just about getting presents, its all about loving each other and doing kind things, so yes, as long as you believe in joy and love and happiness then there definately is a Santa!
we are jewish, my 8 year old has always known that there is no santa. he is very careful not to tell his xmas friends. at 9 there are going to be the kids that already know. its the same as learning about sex from their friends or from you.
I tell my kids, "if you don't believe, then you don't recieve!" Simple as that!
I had a really bad time when I was younger about Santa Claus. I was ten, maybe?

Background information; my mother was having an affair at the time, and probably out of some lingering sense of guilt, she was really lambasting me about "telling stories/lies". I've always had a vivid imagination, I didn't tell lies for the sake of getting attention, I just really liked to make stuff up. (as I grew up to write science fiction and fantasy novels, that urge really never went away!). Anyway, we were really having it out about my "lying." I still don't think there was any harm in having imaginary friends and making up stories about what we did together, even if it was about going to the moon, or what-have-you, but my mom... well, anyway, I was in trouble ALL THE TIME about it.

Right about this time - probably a month or so of having tv and visiting privileges revoked - I overheard my mom talking on the phone to my grandmother. Didn't mean to be eavesdropping, just walked by at the wrong time and heard her say "I'm getting Lynn a 'so and so' as a Santa Claus present." Well, let me tell ya, after everything I'd been through about telling stories/lies, finding out that my mother was busy telling her own lies did not go over well with me.

This has caused some problems with me and my husband because I don't want to go down that path with our daughter. Our compromise is this; I'll tell santa stories in context of tv shows or books, and if asked directly about it, I'll tell her the truth. He's the one who plays up the Santa stories, and I just don't contradict him.
My 10 year old daughter hasn't asked and we haven't offered. We'll wait until she brings it up. I knew when I was 3. I think my older brother figured it out when he was in 5th or 6th. I was sworn to silence.
When it happens, I think I'll take the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" tactic.
My 10 year old still believes! A long as he does, I will let him :)
What!!! Santa's not real! I'm devasted now!
Funny story of santa and first child, middle child, youngest...

First child at the age of 7 says... "Mom, i've been thinking. There can't be an easter bunny. I mean, come on, a giant bunny who can get into our house? AND carry baskets? I don't think so." I say, well that's an interesting thought. He pressed. I caved. Then Christmas rolls around, and he has clearly been adding 2 + 2. "Mom, I've been thinking. If you are the easter bunny, then I think maybe you are santa too. Is santa real"

Me: *gulp* "Honey there was a santa a long time ago and what he did inspired many more people to give gifts to children at Christmas. So no, there is not one guy who travels the planet. There are thousands of santas. I am one. Now you can be one too." We both cry. He has helped me with Christmas Eve every year since - he is 16 now.

Middle child - we are apparently on the "don't ask don't tell" plan. I know he knows. He knows I know he knows. There is no discussion. He's 13 now. I think he figured it out when he was 8. We are maintaining this weird silence till he is... what... 32?

Youngest child - now 10. The older brothers are WAY invested in keeping him believing. They know when he stops, the extra gifts stop. it's selfish and touching all at once.

gotta love it.

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