December 01, 2011

Do preteens actually believe in Santa?

I'm trying to remember when I "lost my faith" in Jolly Old St. Nick, but I'm pretty sure I had by the time I was 9 years old. But, per this AP story, I guess not all kids do. (Or maybe this one in the story thinks he can gift double-dip by pretending to still believe.) The latter is a possibility, I think:
Kyla Kelim of Fairhope, Ala., caught her oldest, a 9-year-old boy, on her iPad playing Santa sleuth a week or so ago. “We’re so close with him this year, not believing,” she said. “He was Googling ‘Santa,’ and I saw him type the word ‘myth’ when I grabbed it and said no electronics. I’m constantly having to follow my phone and iPad and stuff around right now. We’re trying not to debunk Santa for our 7-year-old.”
It's tough when you have kids a couple of years apart. Even more so when there's a gap of several years. I think my three older brothers still got "Santa gifts" until both I and my sister, a year younger, realized the truth. (I think I was 8, but held out another year, for the "double dipping" reason.

That said, even 9 isn't too old, in some cases:
Other parents, though, are finding that in some ways, it was easier to maintain the Santa myth before high-speed Internet.
When Kimberly Porrazzo’s boys, now in their 20s, were little, she and her husband jingled sleigh bells outside their kids’ bedroom windows on Christmas Eve, and Dad took to the roof to make scampering hoof sounds.
When one of the boys was still a believer at 12, she broke the news — gently — before some playground skeptic did it for her. The Lake Forest, Calif., mother turned the experience into a little book she self-published, “The Santa Secret: The Truth About Santa Claus.”
So, comments? Any of you remember how old you were when you stopped believing? Was the issue influenced by younger siblings? And, if you have kids at home now, how do you handle it?

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