Discussion with Gianna

Before gymnastics:
Gigi (age 4): “I think there will be a big feast at my gymnastics class!”
Me: “Why?”
Gigi: “Because Our Savior is coming!”

After gymnastics:
Gigi: “This girl at gymnastics kept jumping and yelling, ‘It’s Christmas! It’s Christmas!’ I told her it’s not Christmas yet; it’s Advent.”
Mary: “Do you know what Advent is?”
Gigi: “It’s when we wait for Jesus to get born!”


2 responses to “Discussion with Gianna

  1. Our kids both know that Christmas is about Jesus. We do Santa Claus, but they know that he gives presents to good children to celebrate Jesus’ Birthday.

    Rebecca and John love to kneel in front of our family’s nativity set and say this prayer that we made together: “Baby Jesus, in this season of Advent, we eagerly await your coming on Christmas day. We love you very much, and we can’t wait for you to get here. Amen.”

    Rebecca was an angel in her preschool nativity pageant at St. Patrick school this year:

  2. John C. Hathaway

    That’s cool, Joy! 🙂
    We’re travelling, so I’ll check that link when I have better bandwidth.

    We’ve always divided the presents up:
    1 present for each kid for St. Nicholas day.
    1 present for each kid, maybe 2, on Christmas Eve.
    1 or 2 presents on Christmas Day.
    Then 1 present each for Epiphany.
    Of course, Allie’s birthday is in January, and then there are all the presents they get from grandparents, etc.

    As for “Santa,” I have never really had a problem with the “santa” myth, seeing it as kind of like a hypothetical lay apostolate or whatever, but last year I got really deeply into studying the development of the American Santa Claus, and how it was so tied first to anti-Catholicism (co-opting our tradition of St. Nicholas–or St. Basil, in some countries–but stripping it of all over religious stuff, kind of like the earliest “secularization of Christmas”).

    There’s at least one guy in Columbia who’s a professional St. Nicholas–I kno there’s an Orthodox guy who does it; not sure if he’s the one that does all of them.
    But you see all sorts of announcements around the area this time of year for “meet St. Nicholas, the real Santa Claus.” One of the Catholic parishes has a breakfast with St. Nick on the weekend closest to St. Nicholas Day (Again, not sure if it’s the same guy).

    He wears a bright red bishops’ outfit with miter and crozier, but the long white beard and gloves, sits kids on his lap and talks to them, but gives the whole thing a more remotely religious touch.

    One of Mary’s brothers said “God went away with Santa Claus,” and that has always made her wary of confusing kids with what’s really a “noble lie” and what’s genuine belief.

    So we just tell the kids that Santa Claus is a nice imaginary game, based upon the real St. Nicholas.

    This, year, we’re spending Christma swith my parents, so I didn’t see the point in decorating, but I am a Christmas decorating fanatic, and I’m still waiting till we get a “real house” (as opposed to a townhouse) so I can achieve my dreams.

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