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At what age do kids really understand Christmas?

(22 Posts)
Bumblebeewine Sat 16-Feb-19 18:56:31

At what age did your dc understand/anticipate/get excited about Christmas? Can't imagine DD (who'll be 2.5 this Christmas) being excited before the day but not sure what age they do actually understand? Basically, how long can I get away with buying not much?😂

MissBehaving1000 Sat 16-Feb-19 19:10:16

I'd say the Christmas just gone for my DD and she was 4.

The year before when she was 3 she understood the concept of Father Christmas etc but I don't think she fully got it.

The one just gone though she was so excited about him coming to drop off presents, understood leaving the milk/carrots out Xmas eve and loved hearing the nativity story.

I wish it could stay like this forever as it makes Christmas so magical!

DerelictWreck Sat 16-Feb-19 19:27:44

Ours understood the concept of Father Christmas at 18 months (seriously) but wasn't a big fan! Was happy at 18m to hand our presents and new that presents were exciting things for her.

HollyBollyBooBoo Sat 16-Feb-19 22:19:21

I would say 4 and then by 7 some little sod in her class had told her Father Christmas didn't exist so that was the end of that magic.

NoWordForFluffy Sat 16-Feb-19 22:56:46

Definitely 4 here. 3 was kind of there (and DS was dragged along a bit by DD who was 4), but 4 was definitely <the> year for both (DD was 4.6 and DS 4.5 at Christmas).

spinabifidamom Mon 18-Feb-19 22:53:16

We celebrated Christmas as usual. I doubt that the twins fully understood but they enjoyed their presents and food. DD was enchanted by a helium balloon.
DS loved his picture books we got him.

MagicAlwaysLeadsToTrouble Mon 18-Feb-19 22:54:43

Age 4.

It’s the first year they are old enough to remember the Christmas before and understand what all the anticipation and build up is actually leading to!

trancepants Tue 19-Feb-19 11:07:37

At 4. Ds's birthday is shortly before Christmas though, so an older 3 year old might have a good grasp on it. It was still exciting at 2 and 3 but that whole anticipation of the big night/day where he comes down the chimney and leaves gifts to find in the morning didn't really happen until 4. At 2 my DS looked at Santa as some sort of ultimate cross over character. He fully recognised Santa, there he was with the Paw Patrol, with Mickey Mouse, with Donald Duck, with Scooby Doo, with the Octonauts, etc. He knew Santa was a Christmas guy and tried to decorate our tree with his Santa teddy while singing the Paw Patrol version of falalalala before I'd started decorating. So he got the very basic gist of the season and it was fun but he couldn't really understand it.

At 3 he had a better idea but still didn't fully understand it. He'd chosen what to ask for in September and when his birthday came in November he definitely muddled the two. Christmas decorations were all ready all over the city and in the shops by his birthday so when he got lots of birthday gifts he assumed Santa would be coming that day to give him his Batcave. In December any time he saw Santa, he assumed he'd get his Batcave there and then. The first party we were at and Santa appeared and gave him a small toy car and after his initial delight wore off, he came up to me worried Santa had forgotten his Batcave. When he was doing his advent calendar, he was really, really focussed on getting to day 10, because to him 10 was the big number that he would surely get his Batcave on. At 4 days to Christmas I remember him sitting in his buggy in Smyths trying to negotiate Christmas morning down to 2 days, instead of 4. So he got it to a much bigger degree but he didn't get it. He still loved it though and obviously learned a lot about it that year because Easter, which we treat as a bit of a mini Christmas, was only 3 months later and he had a good enough grasp of it to talk me into making an Easter countdown calendar and was in close to full anticipation mode for the Easter bunny. (He also picked his gift for the following Christmas on January 3rd and stuck with it for the year.)

4 really was the year that he knew how it went. That his birthday and Christmas were two separate things. He knew that seeing Santa at a party or on a special visit, meant he was just going to have a chat with Santa and tell him what he wanted. He knew that the advent calendar was 24 days long and that 10 had no particular significance. He was in full countdown and anticipation mode because he understood what and when he was waiting for. He properly enjoyed Christmas movies and events.

NoWordForFluffy Tue 19-Feb-19 13:03:38

Ha, we had the same issue with a bloody Batcave / Santa visits at age 3 with DS too! 😂

curiositykilledthekat22 Tue 19-Feb-19 16:13:48

At about 2 my lot understanded what Santa was and that they’d get presents but they weren’t too excited, when they turned 4 they definitely got more excited

FraterculaArctica Tue 19-Feb-19 16:18:00

DS was 4.9 this last Christmas and this was the first time he properly got it. Like a PP said I think it's partly about being able to remember the previous year! I suspect his little sister will get it at a younger age though, on the back of his excitement!

Stinkytoe Tue 19-Feb-19 16:28:59

It’s only really since starting school that my kids have had an understanding of the nativity story and celebrating the birth of Jesus. I suppose it’s quite a distant concept for them to grasp. There are lots of kid friendly story book though.

Stinkytoe Tue 19-Feb-19 16:29:22

Oh, I’ve just read your post rather than just the title. Sorry!

CookPassBabtridge Tue 19-Feb-19 16:36:17

Another vote for 4! This year was the first year DS got excited and understood what was going on.

anniehm Tue 19-Feb-19 16:36:53

Between 3&4 they get the concept that something different and exciting is happening, varies obviously from child to child.

BillyAndTheSillies Tue 19-Feb-19 16:46:08

DS is about to turn 3 this week and this Christmas he totally got it. He loved the anticipation, films, singing carols, going to mass and of course presents. He loved the magic, and he really appreciated it.

He was a bit upset when twelfth night happened and all the decorations disappeared but is excited for next year already. Unfortunately he gets that from me.

Adeste Fri 22-Feb-19 11:38:08

Mine were 3 when they got it. By 7 and 8 they had been wised up so it can be a very small window. Make the most of it!

Motherofcreek Fri 22-Feb-19 11:41:22

Dd2 peaked this year at 5 and half. I genuinely don't think she could have a better one. She was literally throwing herself around the room grin

Dd3 (2) enjoyed it and really was bothered at getting much less.

Dd1 cried every year till she was four grin

PhilomenaButterfly Fri 22-Feb-19 11:42:43

2 I think.

HairyToity Sun 24-Feb-19 20:53:26

DD got it at 3. Although at 1 and 2 she loved opening her presents. This year (5) was the first year we spent over £100 on presents. So expense went up a notch.

elQuintoConyo Sun 24-Feb-19 20:57:19

DS has a December birthday, so I'd say he was 3yo and had fun, but 4yo was NUTS!

He's just turned 7 and still loves Christmas, very magical, no one has spoilt it yet.

trilbydoll Sun 24-Feb-19 21:29:56

DD2 was 3.5 this year just gone and she pretty much got it, the only problem is that she doesn't fully grasp time so can't really count down to the big day and linked to this, doesn't understand one Advent window per day. But the rest of the activities etc she fully enjoyed.

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