Thursday, December 1, 2011

Away in a Manger

So um.  I'm not very religious or anything.  I was born and raised Catholic, married Catholic, had Laura baptized Catholic, and we even go to church two or three times a year.  But I'm not so much up on all the info on teaching my child about the church and our beliefs (which are fairly loose 0n my part).  This hadn't been an issue until I decided Laura needed to know about Christmas.

Christmas is lights! and trees! and presents! and reindeer! and cheesy movies! and ornaments! and SANTA! and Ho!Ho!Ho!  and egg nog! and candy canes! and crafts! and parties! and a little baby born two thousand years ago??

Those things are easy to explain.  Santa is a big man who watches you all year and then asks you to sit on his lap for a good laugh.  Not creepy in the least (and for the record, I freaking LOVE Santa.  I'm a huge believer).  Egg nog and candy canes are tasty.  Lights are oooh so pretty.

But the harder part to explain (for me at least): Baby Jesus.  Laura is in the parroting phase of toddlerhood.  She heard someone curse "Jesus!" in the store the other, and immediately repeated the word, testing the letters and syllables on her tongue.  So I started telling her about Baby Jesus who was born in a manger with the angels and the wise men and the shepherds.  She likes babies, so she was all about that.  But trying to explain why we celebrate the birth of one particular baby, born two thousand years ago?  Not as easy.

So now I have a 22 month old wandering around babbling to herself, and randomly talking about Baby Jesus Ho!Ho!Ho!  I should probably break out the crèche brush up on my bible stories, and buy a board book or two about Baby Jesus so I can get this story straight.

How have you taught your children about Baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Inn, manger, lowing cattle, shepherds, star, angels and wise men?  Is 22 months too young to understand?