Oooh, I’m a believer…

Santa was in my house sample (2)

When did you stop believing in Father Christmas?

I’ve a feeling I might have been around seven, the year my foster parents split up and we moved into a flat – bless, but I think my Mum had just run out of places to hide four kids’ Christmas presents, and I stumbled across the stash in a cupboard a week before the big day.

Still, I was a little taken aback last week when Flea came home from school and announced that some junior school boys had done the rounds of the infant dining room that day, telling all the kids that Father Christmas wasn’t real, and it’s really just your Mum and Dad.

I have no idea what would possess a child to spread such foul fiction, but my five-year-old was not impressed. “They even said Rudolph doesn’t eat the carrot,” she said, dolefully. “They said your Mummy puts it back in the packet.”

We had a bit of a chat, and Flea came up with the theory that perhaps these were bad boys who didn’t get a visit from the fella in red, and that’s why they don’t believe in him.

The next day, in a weird example of festive serendipity, the PR for Santa Was in My House got in touch and offered me a free voucher for their website, where you can upload a photo of your house and get back a photo of Santa in it.

So…  I told Flea that we have a special mission this Christmas. We’ve just been sent a Kodak Playsport camera to play with, and I’ve told Flea it’s a secret camera. We’re going to hide it among the fireplace garland, where we will be able to take a surveillance picture of Santa as he comes down the chimney. This might sound questionable, but really, I think knowing this sort of thing is going to make her a GREAT girlfriend to someone, one day.

Anyway, because it’s a secret camera, we’re not allowed to tell anyone it’s there, or that we have a photo of Santa. But we will have our own, definitive proof that those bad boys were wrong.

How about you? Do you have any tips and tricks on helping children stay believers?  


PS – If you’d like to try out Santa Was in My House for yourself, I’ve been given three free codes for the website – which I’ll pass on to the first three people to ask in the comments. Although if you don’t get a free visit, the website only charges £5 per photo, and £1 of that goes to Barnardos.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 19th December 2010 / 3:42 pm

    *Blush* My son was the child who told two girls in his class that Santa was just your parents. They were 8 or 9 at the time though, so a stage on from Flea. And it was his own class-mates – he didn’t go and victimise younger kids. (Am I sounding defensive here?)

  2. 19th December 2010 / 4:45 pm

    Oooh those are some bad bad boys! Glad Flea saw right through them.

  3. 19th December 2010 / 4:46 pm

    PS I’d love a code!

  4. Jenny
    19th December 2010 / 5:08 pm

    Ooh, I’d love a code too please!

  5. Emma
    19th December 2010 / 5:35 pm

    Such a great idea! 🙂

  6. 19th December 2010 / 5:48 pm

    My eldest has now ‘crossed to the other side’ in believing terms and let on about it a few weeks ago. But she’s really enjoying being part of the mystery for the younger ones and I’ll be sorry when they all stop.
    A few years ago on a home ed holiday camp one child started to say ‘it’ out loud. It was amazing the way all the kids who knew just shouted her down quickly, protecting the magic for those who did believe.
    In our house, because I love the joy of it but don’t like lying, I tread a line. I say that FC is magic, magic that we grow through believing in it and that everything is only real if you believe in it. SO for as long as they believe in the magic, he’ll always be there for them. When F asked the other week, I told her straight that yes she was right, she had worked it out, but that part of the magic was making it real for others, so if she wanted to be part of that, he’d come to her stocking to.
    PS – top tip, we ALWAYS have special wrapping paper for the stocking and FC presents and different for ones from mummy and daddy.
    And to avoid the ‘well I can have anything because FC brings it and pays, he just brings stockings and one gift each in this house, the rest is from us. As a child, once I stopped believing, I hated not being able to say thank you, it felt very awkward, so we’ve always done this to avoid that dilemma.

  7. 19th December 2010 / 7:18 pm

    It’s true, sometimes children are very protective of other siblings – although in my family my older brothers took a slightly different approach and couldn’t wait to show off they knew something I didn’t!

  8. 19th December 2010 / 7:56 pm

    Those boys will be on Santa’s naughty list.

  9. superlittlemen
    20th December 2010 / 8:19 am

    We have yet to cross this one, although I think this might be our last Christmas with both beleiving as one is 7 and one is 4 now. I am dreading the day Isaac finds out, 1) because its another bit of proof he is growing up and 2) he has mild aspergers so doesnt understand things like secrets and might let it out of the bag for Jude, bhut we’ll deal with that at the time. For now I am loving having 2 children totally excoted over the whole thing

  10. 20th December 2010 / 10:58 am

    Very sweet post and I think it’s fab for children to believe as long as they can, it’s the magicof youth. I think I believed until about 9 and Christmas hasn’t been the same since. Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas.

  11. S.
    20th December 2010 / 11:17 am

    We did the brilliant Portable North Pole video which she loves. It’s fab. Loving the sound of the photo!

  12. Carly
    20th December 2010 / 11:34 am

    My 2 still believe – although my daughter’s best friend is going away to his Dad’s for Christmas so they had Christmas a week early… which has led to some funny questions, unfortunately, and his mum decided to tell him the truth. Made me a little sad, my daughter is only 5…
    If there’s a code still available, we’d love it!

  13. Nikki
    20th December 2010 / 1:11 pm

    Errrr I believed till I was 11 and my parents thought I ought to know before starting senionr school….My response? Whilst sobbing I creid out: “I suppose the tooth fairy isn’t real either”…hmmmmm
    Our 5 yr old lost a top front tooth this week and said that the tooth fairy wasn’t real – we quickly hushed her and said that if the tooth fairy had heard that, she wouldn’t be coming! Luckily for her, the tooth fairy was a bit deaf that day.
    She also knows that a lot of people dress up as Father Christmas as my husband is in Round Table and runs a christmas float every year but she knows he’s one of Father Christmas’s special helpers as he couldn’t possibly do everything.
    Hope to keep the magic alive as long as possible, but perhaps not till she’s 11 LOL!!

  14. Childcare in Eastbourne
    20th December 2010 / 5:53 pm

    I really don’t have any tricks to make my kids believe in Santa they are still young enough. And to be honest, the day that they finally find out I’ll be very sad, because Christmas are magic when you have kids around you, so excited waiting to unwrap the presents…Let them enjoy while they still can.

  15. CherishedByMe
    20th December 2010 / 7:39 pm

    A teacher told one of my sons……there was huge uproar! I vowed to tell his sons when they were old enough to understand! ;0)
    I use different wrapping paper and tell them if they don’t believe they won’t receive! 😀

  16. 20th December 2010 / 9:16 pm

    I’m not sure if there’s any codes left but if there is, I’d love one.
    If not, I think I’ll get one anyway – anything to keep the belief going a bit longer lol

  17. teaching resources mary
    23rd December 2010 / 1:54 pm

    Nice post!
    Merry Christmas and hope you have a brilliant year ahead

  18. Jenny
    24th December 2010 / 3:39 pm

    Please let me know how I get my hands on the magic code 🙂

  19. 31st December 2010 / 3:08 pm

    This is such a great idea how did it go?

  20. 2nd January 2011 / 2:12 am

    Worked like a charm – I really, really recommend it for next year. Flea was SO excited by her special picture – I took it with half the presents under the tree for extra authenticity.