One in four children think Christmas Day celebrates Simon Cowell's birthday, while nearly a quarter think God was born in Essex, a survey has found.
The same number of five to seven-year-olds also thought Jesus was born either at 10 Downing Street or Buckingham Palace, with more than a third not even knowing whose birthday it is on Christmas Eve.
The survey, conducted by Woolworths.co.uk, found children's perception of Christmas populated with celebrities. More than a third (35%) of the youngsters could not name a single one of Father Christmas' reindeer. Of the children questioned, 12% thought singer Tulisa was the name of a reindeer. Other names suggested were:
- David Beckham: 11%
- Pippa Middleton: 9%
- Dappy, from band N-Dubz: 9%
- Fazer, from the same band as Dappy and Tulisa: 7%
- Rapper Tinie Tempah: 5%
- Cheryl Cole: 5%
- Footballer Cristiano Ronaldo: 3%
And they fared no better when it came to identifying the three wise men, either. More than a third thought Gary Barlow, Mark Wright from reality show The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) and Prince Charles were the gift-bearing visitors in the nativity scene. In a sign of the times, 30% presumed these "wise men" heard about the birth of Jesus through Facebook.
Other interesting facts included 28% thinking Lapland was a nightclub and 35% never having heard of Rudolph before.
A Woolworths spokesperson said: "Christmas is such a special and magical time of year for children, so it’s surprising that there is so much confusion going around.
"Obviously Christmas means different things for different families but it’s a big shock that 35% don't even know who Rudolph is.
"We’re not saying that celebrity culture has ruined the traditions of Christmas but from these results it certainly seems to have had an effect on how children think about the big day!"
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