This Christmas, the kids are in for it.

I’ve made a momentous decision. I’m buying Charlie Brown’s Christmas on DVD and playing the shit out of it this year.
Why? I love Vince Garaldi music, but this is bigger than that. I’m inculcating the kids in the Christmas story. Schultz-style.
I’ve fielded a couple of questions on religion already (“What is ‘pray’?” and, predictably, shortly after that, “What is God?”) but I have given the whole issue pretty short shrift.
The kids need to know that there is this long tradition, a story older than Visit from St. Nicholas, behind the tinsel in the winter’s dark. A story, and a practice, that has been the support of many and yet fostered more wars (I tried to explain that one last night, too) than any other activity, even discussing politics at the dinner table.
And I’ve been seeking a way to get into it with the girls. By “it”, I mean: how do people believe, what do people use to make sense of the world? The Death of our dear dog (thankfully) carefully skirted that discussion, but I hope this will be, well, it.

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4 responses to “This Christmas, the kids are in for it.

  1. I have this crazy idea that I’m going to incorporate every single midwinter celebration into our Christmas tradition, so that the girls know where Christmas came from (including the pagan influences), and see the similarities (and differences) between what different cultures have come to celebrate at this time of year.
    Of course, I also have this crazy idea that I’m going to have my Christmas shopping done by Dec 1 and will actually get Christmas cards out this year. Oh well. Miss Bea will be a whopping 26 months old this Christmas, we’ll probably do ok even if I haven’t figured out Channukah yet.

    • Yeah, I have yet to even purchase a copy of the DVD, never mind doing anything else to prepare for the festive season! No pressure though, this is only the year my girls will look back on FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES as what Christmas is all about – the first year they really believe.

  2. Wee ones + Christmas = awesome.

    Older ones + Christmas – belief in Santa = less magical

  3. Christmas, like the rest of childhood and adulthood and life, is a continuum of memories continually remade. It doesn’t have to be perfect and complete – it just has to be. My advice? Make it about the small rituals, let moments be gifts. Like adding Bailey’s to my morning coffee on Christmas morning, the one day of the year I permit myself to begin and end the day with that particular bit of warmth. Or like baking a particular recipe only at that time of year (with my Mom, it was sucre à la crème, and butter tarts). Or bringing out the box of Christmas music CDs and playing them incessantly for a month. Christmas is one of those beautiful things that really is made up of the sum of its parts.

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