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How old were your children when they found out Father Christmas wasn't real?

(93 Posts)
Foxglove77 Sat 19-Nov-22 11:16:24

A colleague at work said she found her 11 year old son writing a very long and expensive Christmas list to Father Christmas! She asked him why it was so long and he said "I didn't want to worry you and Dad this year, so I will ask Father Christmas for everything I want". Sweet, but she said it was obviously time "for a talk". Apparently he was devasted to learn the truth!

Skydancer Sat 19-Nov-22 11:18:12

Isn't real! Oh no!

Smileless2012 Sat 19-Nov-22 11:19:21

TBH I can't remember at what age Foxglove but it was something they worked out for themselves. DS being older knew before his brother, and as requested kept it to himself for as long as necessary.

Silvergirl Sat 19-Nov-22 11:24:24

In my experience boys take longer to figure it out than girls.

My daughter (9) came and asked me if he was real. I told her the truth, thinking she knew anyway but her face just fell with disappointment. I regretted my words right away as it was obvious we could have had another year of fantasy.

Ro60 Sat 19-Nov-22 11:25:20

DD2 was 11, first year at senior school when she had an argument at school. We thought we'd dropped enough hints for the transition 😂

Tootsy Sat 19-Nov-22 11:29:12

What? Of course he's real.

Blossoming Sat 19-Nov-22 11:32:02

Who says he isn’t real? Of course he is!

LtEve Sat 19-Nov-22 11:33:19

About 7 or 8. As FC had only ever done small stocking presents they weren’t in the slightest bit bothered so long as they still had stockings.

ParlorGames Sat 19-Nov-22 11:33:22

I seem to recall that it was my older brother, by 3 years, who told me that Santa wasn't real but I had actually worked it out for myself the previous Christmas as I was still awake when my Mum sneaked into my bedroom with a pillowcase of gifts. I never did let on as my parents always did their very best for us despite not having a great deal of money.
As a parents and eventually a grandparent I did try to keep the magic alive as long as possible but they children always knew the truth before going to secondary school.
Even now though, as a family, we encourage the importance of 'giving and sharing' far above 'receiving' as does a single parent neighbour of ours who leaves a little sweet treat at every house carefully wrapped along with a special greeting each year from herself and her children.

Aveline Sat 19-Nov-22 11:38:11

Sshhh! Don't tell them. I never did.

Sparklefizz Sat 19-Nov-22 11:38:54

I can remember as a child being very disappointed to find Father Christmas wasn't real..... not sure how old I was.

My granddaughter was always frightened of him and we had to promise her that he wouldn't even come in the house and would leave her presents in the front garden. In the end my daughter told her when she was only 5 and she was soooo relieved, bless her.

Alioop Sat 19-Nov-22 11:39:51

I came home from school and told my older sister that the kids had been saying Santa wasn't real that it was mum and dad that left the presents. She told me that the kids were right, but I shouldn't say anything to my parents because you don't get as much when they find out you don't believe. I kept it going for a few more years much to my mum's delight. She was gutted the year I finally told her I didn't believe anymore. I think I was about 25....😂

Nightsky2 Sat 19-Nov-22 11:46:06

Youngest son was 5 when he’s 7 year old brother threw his arms around him coming out of school and told him there was no Santa. He was so upset that he burst into tears. I remember thinking that the 7 year old had worked it out for himself but 5 was definitely too young. A teacher had told the whole class. I took it up with the school, apparently the teacher thought it a good idea to tell the whole class because one little girl asked her if there really was a Santa Clause. I remember being furious at the time.

Nandalot Sat 19-Nov-22 11:46:08

DD and I are at odds about this. DGC (twins), in first year of secondary still believe. (They are generally a bit young for their age). I feel she should tell them now because I don’t want them to be bullied about it at school. She is saying let them keep believing. Her children, her choice but I would do it differently.

toscalily Sat 19-Nov-22 11:46:44

My eldest son was eight and said that one of the boys at school had said Santa was not real and was it true. I explained in the nicest possible way and saw his face change, his reply was "now I know the truth does that mean I won't get any more presents?" I could reassure him that wasn't going to happen. The younger ones found out sooner of course having older brothers.

Callistemon21 Sat 19-Nov-22 11:48:33

You mean? 😲 😥😥😥

spabbygirl Sat 19-Nov-22 11:56:56

I never told my kids that, it seemed to me crazy to tell them not to lie then lie yourself. It never hurt our christmases either

Hetty58 Sat 19-Nov-22 11:58:29

Our third child, a girl, was completely terrified at the thought of a strange man making his way down the chimney to leave presents and eat a mince pie. She was just two when we decided to tell her, as her older brothers were quite insistent and really concerned about her. The fourth child never believed. Still, they were all banned from discussing it with school mates who still believed. That terrified girl brought her kids up as non-believers, but strictly banned from spoiling the magic for others. There's never a worry about the tooth fairy, though!

Witzend Sat 19-Nov-22 12:01:10

Dd1 was coming up to 9 when she told me in very matter of fact tones that she knew Father Christmas was me and Daddy, so I might as well admit it.,

So I did - while of course emphasising that she must never let on to any children who still believed.

When she was in her early 20s she told me she’d been dying for me to deny it, so she could go on believing a little longer!
I so wish I had! 😥

Calendargirl Sat 19-Nov-22 12:02:27

Think my DD was about 7 or 8 when she asked if Santa existed. I told her the truth, but asked her to keep it from her younger brother for a couple more years, which she did.

I’m afraid I think that if children still believe by the time they go to secondary school, they ought to be enlightened by mum and dad.

Yammy Sat 19-Nov-22 12:08:21

My eldest was in hospital at Christmas and realised that all the presents were at home at about 9. The other I can distinctly hear DH saying I think we are going to have to tell the prospective husband she is a believer so she must have either known and not told us or been that innocent well into her teens.confused

Blondiescot Sat 19-Nov-22 12:15:31

My daughter was a very 'why' child and I think she was about 7 when she worked it out - had to bribe her to keep her mouth shut and not tell her little brother, who would have been 3 at the time. I do remember her being in Primary 1 and informing me after their Christmas assembly that 'Santa' had the same boots as 'Janny Pearson', the school janitor, so I think she had her suspicions from then on.

Mamardoit Sat 19-Nov-22 12:16:36


DD and I are at odds about this. DGC (twins), in first year of secondary still believe. (They are generally a bit young for their age). I feel she should tell them now because I don’t want them to be bullied about it at school. She is saying let them keep believing. Her children, her choice but I would do it differently.

I agree. They really should be told if they still believe when they leave primary school.

I was shocked when a close friend said her 14 year old DD stayed in the school library every lunch time because she was being bullied. One of the reasons the other DC teased her was because she believed in FC. The friend really thought the other DC were being very cruel. They were of course but we do have to help our DC fit in and believing in FC at 14 is not cute.

I'm sure mine all believed through infant school but they certainly had doubts in year 3 or 4. They all kept the secret for their younger siblings.

I think it's best if FC brings a stocking with little gifts and the DC know any larger presents are bought by family members.
That way it's easier manage expectations.

nanna8 Sat 19-Nov-22 12:16:51

Probably about 23.

MawtheMerrier Sat 19-Nov-22 12:18:54

Spoiler alert!

What do you mean, not real? 🎅🎅🎅🎅