Half of children have met the ‘‘real’’ Santa Claus


Half (47%) of British children (aged five to 11) claim to have met the “real” Santa Claus, reveals new research from travel insurance specialist Columbus Direct1.  When asked how Santa Claus knows where they live, 11% of children claim he uses magic to find them on Christmas Eve. One child claimed Father Christmas uses a “magic snow globe he can throw and it tells him exactly where you are.”  However, one in ten children (9%) believe Santa finds their home through more traditional means of navigation, because he uses GPS technology like a Sat Nav.

The research reveals that Father Christmas is increasingly teetotal, shying away from the traditional sherry tipple. When asked what they leave out for Santa, only 7% of children left out alcohol.  In those homes where alcohol was offered, sherry has been replaced with options including beer, scotch, wine and Baileys. More than half (54%) of children will leave out milk for Santa this Christmas, with 44% leaving carrots for the reindeer and 38% leaving cookies.

It seems children think Santa is a bachelor boy as, when asked who he lives with, just 26% said his partner, Mrs. Claus or Mrs. Christmas.  Instead, children believe that Santa lives with his elves (64%) and reindeer (37%).  When it comes to the names of his reindeer, the children interviewed offered a range of unusual names not included in ‘The Night Before Christmas’ poem including “Rufus,” “Glee” and “Red nose.”

Despite Lapland (Finland) advertising itself as the home of Father Christmas, British children aren’t convinced. The research reveals that more than three quarters (77%) of British children believe Santa lives at the North Pole.  Other options for where Santa might live include the South Pole (8%), in the sky (2%), underground (2%) while one child thought he lived “in a paradise of joy as a Saint.”

Other gems from the children interviewed when asked to describe Father Christmas include:

“I have only met fake Father Christmases.”
“He knows everything.”
“He is the smartest person in the world.”
“He goes to the Caribbean in the summer.”
“He doesn’t know where anyone lives; he has a magical sleigh and just drops presents on houses.”
“His spies go to the houses from the North Pole. They watch to see if you’re good.”

Watch Columbus Direct’s video to find out what British children say about Santa Claus: