Thursday, December 15, 2016

The boundaries between reality and make-believe

It is interesting sometimes to just try to follow my son's thought processes.  The other night, we were talking about Santa, St. Nicholas and why we even celebrate Christmas in the first place.  As we told him we are celebrating Jesus' birthday, he asked, "well then, why do I get gifts?"  We told him that Santa and St. Nicholas bring gifts to children to celebrate the birthday of Jesus.  Still slightly confused, I said, "remember how when you go to your friends' birthday parties, you get to take home small gifts or party favors?"  I then cited some specific examples.  "Well, that's kind of what Santa does- he gives party favors and gifts to all the good little children in celebration of the Lord's birthday."  He knew we had taken a basketball to church for a child in need and I think was slightly confused that Santa wouldn't just give everyone tons of gifts, "That's our opportunity to help celebrate Jesus' birthday by giving to others."

He had been playing quite a bit with his Fisher Price Nativity set, and acting out scenes from the Nativity.  A little later, he said, "I don't want to go to Jesus' birthday party (We had explained how Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we would all get together at Church and celebrate with a birthday party).  I was confused, "Why don't you want to say Happy Birthday to Jesus?" I asked him.  "I'm scared," he said.  I couldn't fathom why he would be scared of Christmas, or celebrating a birthday.  Upon further questioning, "I'm scared of the animals in the barn."  Apparently my son thought we were going to the barn to see the Baby Jesus and he was a little intimidated by cows...  After I contained my laughter, I explained that we would be celebrating Jesus' birthday at Church, at Mass, and no, there wouldn't be cows there.  "Yes, I want to go to his birthday party," my son said.

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