Did you believe in Santa. It was a right of passage in growing up for most kids. I know I did, as did my children. How long do you let a child continue in that belief? I think most parents know when a child is able to hear the truth. Especially if you teach the real meaning of Christmas right along.
My kids each learned at different ages for many reasons. Many kids hear it from their friends at school. Others parents. Always, the truth hurts a bit. Let me tell you about my youngest and her love and belief as well as learning the truth.
My husband was with the fire dept. and they always had Christmas parties for the kids. There was this gentleman in town who was a wonderful Santa and always the on they fire dept. hired for the night. When she was 2 and Santa came into the room she ran and jumped into his arms. She did not want to get off his lap while he handed out presents. He let her stay.
As we belong to a couple other organizations who had parties, it was quite the thing that the same man was Santa. We never took her to the Malls etc. so she never saw how Santa changed at different places. Her sister and brothers never spilled the beans.
Well when she went to school it was okay for the first few years. But, by fifth grade the kids were trying to convince her there was no Santa. They asked her if she didn't notice the difference in the places she went. Wasn't he tall and skinny in some, etc.? She had to say no. So she believed right up to the fifth grade and we finally had to burst her bubble. She took it so well and even explained to the kids why she believed so long. There was no teasing etc. so it all turned out well.
I don't know if waiting helped her deal with it or what, but happy that she didn't fall apart and get mad.