Poll finds most parents see Santa as an important part of Christmas

    Santa’s got a lot of competition these days as gifts get more expensive and playground talk has turned from jump rope to cell phones.

    But the big guy is as popular as ever, as most parents consider him to be an important part of Christmas.

    Though Santa can make it tough for some who identify the holiday more with religion, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds 71 percent of the 1,000 adults surveyed think Santa is a key part of the holidays. That’s up from 58 percent in 2006.

    And though most kids these days stop believing in Santa and his reindeer around age 8, they have the faith in the first place because their parents believed in Santa as kids.

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    So fear not, parents. Your kids will value Santa again someday. Probably around the time you become grandparents.

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