How old is too old to believe in Santa Claus?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
December 07, 2020, 1:00 PM UTC

Half-eaten cookies and photos with the local mall Santa are just a fraction of the work Americans put in to convince children that Santa exists – but who’s buying it, and when should they stop?  

Most Americans (67%) stopped expecting Santa to shimmy down their chimney by the time they entered seventh grade. Half (49%) of Americans say they stopped believing in Santa before the age of 10 – with a quarter (23%) reporting that they lost sight of him between the ages of seven (10%) and eight (13%).  

While 17% of Americans say children should stop believing in Santa at the age of 10, 35% say the truth should be revealed earlier. About a fifth (21%) of Americans, however, aren’t so sure what the right age is for a child to stop believing in Father Christmas.  

Whether it's through a classmate, family member, or an internet search, everyone eventually discovers the truth about Santa. While three quarters of Americans (75%) say they have never ruined the illusion for another, 17% say they have told someone who believed in Santa Claus that Santa didn’t exist.  

Related: America Speaks: Why did they stop believing in Santa Claus – and who broke the news?

Methodology: Total sample size was 1200 US adults. This YouGov Direct Poll was conducted on December 3, 2020, between 11:00 a.m. and 11:52 a.m. EST. Data were weighted according to age, gender, race, and education. The margin of error is approximately 4.4% for the overall sample.    

Image: Getty