Sydney is 8 years old and she believes Santa is so real. It has taken much reinforcement over the years and it is still working.
Let me share two experiences over the years.
In 2006, I purchased some items that were missing some pieces from Wal-mart. Gees what should I do? We had to get that fixed. I told Sydney that when Santa came by he told me that if they were missing any pieces, we could take to Wal-mart because they had similar toys. She went for it. So we went to Wal-mart together because it was her toy. As we get to the Customer Service, I wondered what I was going to do because I was going to have to show the receipt. Well, I put the toy on the counter and quickly placed the receipt in front of the clerk and proceed to tell her the following, "When Santa came, he told me if we had any problems with the toys we could bring them to Wal-mart and they would take care of it and let us get new ones." She went along and we were able to exchange the toy and get ones that worked. Sydney still believed and had no reason to think otherwise.
In 2008, we went to a Christmas party. We had a visitor, Santa Claus. The adults were doing the adult things about talking up Santa.... Sydney was not impressed. She is too analytical. During this visit two things happened:
1) Santa's boots were not real, they were Dock Martins with black plastic wrapped around his calf's to make it look like he was wearing books. She was like, that is not Santa because his boots are not real.
2) Then the adults were asking her if she was excited that Santa was going to come and visit. Sydney responded that it was not Santa because he is too busy and would not be leaving the North Pole. She did give the list of what she wanted.... A washboard and tub to the Santa but it was obvious she knew it was not the real Santa. But she played along. Too busy, what child thinks about that? Too busy? It all works out with the Santa helpers and all.
Afterwards, she is still believing. We have gone the distance to keep Santa alive! She won't be told otherwise. :D) Today, when I spoke to her I also mentioned that some of the items she requested would most likely be split between her dad's house and mine. She responded that she understood and then said that Santa doesn't always get everything that we want because we have to share with others.
I just love my little girl and her bright mind! She is so faithful and believing.
BTW, she is eight and today she called to complain about her dad. Eight going on thirteen. I told her that we all have hard days and that her dad was having a hard day. It meant a bunch to me to have her call and share her feelings with me. She had become a big talker on the telephone.