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Is Magic of Santa Claus Dying?

The World’s Greatest Home Invader

Santa Claus, the world’s greatest home invader, is a figure who sees you when you’re sleeping and knows when you’re awake. He works one day a year and spends the rest of it judging you. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t exist. But the belief in Santa Claus is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs during childhood. The more exposure children have to the lively Santa Claus, the more likely they are to believe that he exists.

Belief in Santa Claus: A Global Perspective

In America, about 85% of young children believe in Santa Claus, especially until the age of 5. Then a shift happens between the ages of 7 and 10, and there is a decline in belief. In Europe, more than 90% of children believe in Santa up to the age of 8. In other continents, the percentage is lower, but the age group is similar, including in India, where most children stop believing in Santa after the age of eight.

Is Magic of Santa Clause Dying?

The Annual Conflict for Parents

With the arrival of Christmas comes an annual conflict for many parents: Is Santa real? Should parents lie and preserve a sense of childhood, or should they reveal the truth? The answer is subjective, but it is becoming objectively harder to keep the secret, thanks to the internet. However, research says there isn’t much to worry about. Contrary to what you might expect, about half the children feel good after discovering the truth about Santa.

The Origin of Santa Claus

Santa’s origin story is unclear. One assumption is that his imagery is based on St. Nicholas, the 4th-century Bishop of Myra, or modern-day Turkey, who gave away his wealth to help the poor. The second assumption is that Santa was introduced as a commercial figure in ads for the Coca-Cola Company in 1931.

Santa’s Persistence

Despite a pandemic slump, Santa has managed to persist. Since 2022, Santa bookings have skyrocketed, and their wages are up. A Santa’s average pay for an event stands at $275. This could be for a home visit or a corporate party. It is even higher for store or mall appearances, where Santas earn about $4,000.

Is Magic of Santa Clause Dying?

Santa’s Impact on the Economy

Santa has even hit the stock market. It’s called the Santa Claus rally, and it happens the world over, where the stock market goes up by about 1% during Christmas time. Santa also boosts the dying art of letter writing. His dedicated postal code attracts half a million letters every year.

Santa Boosting Tourism

Santa is also boosting tourism, especially in Finland. At this time of the year, 20 airliners a day land in its capital, Lapland. People make their way to Santa’s so-called official hometown, the Santa Claus Village. Despite freezing temperatures and long flights, people have traveled there from 180 countries so far, only to sit on Santa’s lap and get a picture clicked for $60 a pop.

The Spirit of Santa Claus

Santa may not be real, but his spirit of generosity is. He helps children understand the concept of giving. He makes adults do special things despite their skepticism. And if that is not enough, it hardly matters really because as long as we have capitalism, Santa will be big money.

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