2014 Christmas Countdown Day 4,5,6 And the headless wise man…

Yep, I suck at blogging this year when it comes to the Christmas Countdown this year.

Day 4 – Making Christmas Cards for family and friends. She got to color all the cards and then we put wallet sized pictures of her and Santa inside and will mail them to our family and friends. Mostly, my family who is out of town and we don’t see them as much as we do Kim’s side of the family.

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Day 5 – Write a letter to Santa.

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I think she really enjoyed the letter writing to Santa. This year, she’s really getting interactive and that’s why the activities that I picked for this year’s countdown was more interactive and meaningful. If you notice, she asked Santa for … TWO bikes. I also love that she made her squiggles on the lines, like she was really writing a letter.

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Day 6 – Christmas Movie Night with Moms. We watched a movie on Netflix called Little Brother, Big Trouble. About a little reindeer who has to come to terms with his family being different than he wanted. His dad was Prancer and he lived with his mom. His mom was getting married again and the new step reindeer dad had a son. He was not happy about a new ‘dad figure’ or a ‘little brother’. It was kind of touching and nice to see a family with divorced and remarried parents. I don’t remember seeing much of that, reflecting my own family dynamic growing up.

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So far the countdown has been quite the success – and its awesome because she’s sooo interactive. She’s so excited about Christmas and since its my favorite holiday, I’m excited share it with her.

Of course, with this holiday, comes the beginning of the questions that haven’t been asked yet, but I am mentally preparing myself. She loves all the decorations, all the fun stuff around the house, and thus far, she hasn’t really caught on that Christmas, to some people, is not just about baking cookies and getting presents from a jolly fat man who flies the world. To some people its something more. Something we don’t necessarily believe in – her mama and I.

I’ve been bracing myself for the questions. For the why and who and what for that kids always have – and maybe this isn’t the year that will happen. Maybe this year, it will be simply having fun and celebrating with her moms.

She loves all the decorations, especially the talking Santa.

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But, she also loves the Nativity that Grammy has out right now. Complete with Mary, Joseph, the wise men and baby jesus. She likes to play with the little figurines, so much so that the heads have been popped off of the porcelain people.

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She knows that the baby in the manger is baby jesus and she isn’t supposed to hide him. She knows that the two people next to baby jesus are his parents, Mary and Joseph. That’s the extent of what she knows. She likes to hold the baby jesus – even though she hid him that one time. She likes to hold them. So far, she hasn’t asked why Grammy has a Nativity or what its for. She just knows its fun decorations for Christmas time.

I know, the time will come – when she wants to know the story behind that Nativity. And its a story I know well – I can recite it in my sleep. But, Kim and I have not really discussed how we will approach the subject when it comes up.

I mean do we proactively tell her the story that other people believe or do we wait until she asks. Is she really too young to have that discussion? We have lots of different faiths in the family right now. Our own family – her moms – are atheist. We don’t really believe in the ‘spirit of Christmas’ in the same way that Grammy and Papa do. Of course, we also have a set of cousins that are Jewish converts, they are celebrating Hanukkah this year and won’t be having Santa visit their house.

With all the different beliefs in our blended family – what is the appropriate way to approach the subject? Or, maybe I’m just making it too complicated.

I’m so on guard about how we will discuss it. I’ve just recently, in the last few years, myself been more in tune with my non-believing side and what that comes with. I have grown up as a Christian – listening to the story of Jesus’ birth every Christmas Eve, listening to the Christmas carols and thinking of the Christ who saved us, and attending or participating in the Christmas pageants at church.

So, like all things that come with the religious upbringing that has been put in my head from a very young age, it still creeps up. It also makes it difficult to decide how we should approach the subject with our own daughter. The daughter we want to make her own choices, ask her own questions, think her own beliefs.

But, she’s two. She’s interested in tutus and fairies (that’s what she calls the angels around the house) and Santa. So why complicate it with another story, about another imaginary man in the sky?

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I suppose I will enjoy the innocence. The oblivion to the religious undertones that surround her during this holiday. The history and the stories – the beliefs and non-beliefs of her family and friends. She just thinks its a pretty holiday – one filled with magic and presents, and soon with our countdown it will be one of giving as well as receiving, so in the end, that’s all that matters.

But, I struggle with the anxiety of what to say, when the questions come. Because they will come. She’s a smart cookie. She has questions. She’s full of curiosities. It is going to be inevitable. My anxiety disorder is starting to dampen my on Christmas spirit, with the whys and what ifs and the questions that are soon to be coming. I just have to keep reminding myself that I have to enjoy the non-questions this year, and simply wait until they come.

Until that time, we will spend time with our daughter and celebrate the magic and joy of Christmas.

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7 thoughts on “2014 Christmas Countdown Day 4,5,6 And the headless wise man…

  1. I think that when the questions come, you’ll give the best answer that you can at that time. Kids are pretty easy going about that kind of stuff- if you change your answer or add to it when you think of something more along the lines ow what you want to convey, I’m sure that she will be fine with it too. Kids are so forgiving. Also, Miss Punky is looking fabulous as always!

  2. (non mom opinion) What I would do if she were my child is just answer any question she has with honesty and letting her explore more as she wishes. I think the Oatmeal did a great comic on this topic. Like creationism for example – you explain both theories (the world was created by a big bang and the world was created by God) and you basically say “Both ideas could be right and both ideas could be wrong, we don’t really know” (or something like that?) As for the Christmas story, you can approach it just like a movie or book – which it is (whether you think it’s fiction or not) and say this is a story about a man named Jesus and how he was born on Christmas and a lot of people believe that’s his birthday, but we can’t really know for sure. It’s definitely a conversation for when she’s a bit older and can understand it a bit better, but I’d just let her ask questions and answer them as honestly as you can. She’ll be fine 🙂

    • Thanks for the insight! I really appreciate the different perspectives. I really just come to terms with just letting her come to me when she’s ready to ask questions. I just keep bracing myself for the awkward answer!

  3. With us, we plan on introducing our kids to church. I grew up Roman Catholic, and loved church growing up, but as i grew older i started questioning and pulling away from the Cathilic hruch. It took me YEARS before i went back to church (Methodist this time around) and the amount of love that my church has to offer and preaches about is incredible! I want my boys to know that there is something bigger than them out there. That they can believe and questions and praise IF THEY WANT TO! We introduced Mary to our church and she LOVES IT! Every week is a whole new round of questions, but we answer them as best we can, and if we can’t, we look up childrens bible answers. Now that she thinks God is watching, she is on her best behavior. Pair that with SAnta, and she’s been an ANGEL! LOL! Who knows, she may have no interest at all, or be totally interested! Then when she gets older, she can make a choice for herself.

    • We are not involved in any sort of church. My thought on that would be that if she finds herself in a situation where she wants to visit a church, when she’s older – perhaps a friend asks her to go or something, we wouldn’t really stop her – but we wouldn’t start going to a church just to introduce Miss Punky to something we don’t fully believe in. So, for now, I will let her bring the questions to us, she’s pretty inquisitive.

      I’m super glad that Mary likes church though, its definitely a personal relationship – having faith.

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