A Christmas Story on the True "Reason for the Season"
Tue, 12/15/2009 - 11:47 | David
Can a twenty-two month old toddler teach us the true reason for Christmas? How qualified to teach are the very young? Perhaps more than we are ready to admit.
We help watch my son's daughter weekdays while he, a single dad, works. She was twenty-two months at the time; talkative, playful, loves soft music, and of course, puppies, "pink" and princesses.
She also loves to go to Church looking at all the statues and crosses. Curiously, anything Christian she calls "babies". Watching videos, even Christian rappers (not her style), she uncannily calls them "babies", though rappers and normal music groups are ignored. Symphonies are ignored too, but Handel's Messiah elicits a "babies!"
She is familiar with Christian themes, though only loosely, and we have never "preached" to her or taught her other than agreeing with her when she says, "babies" that, yes,,, it is a Christian theme.
She also knows the name Jesus, the guy on the cross, the baby in the manger, the rabbi instructing how to pray with hands outstretched (the Lord's Prayer).
The one missing name we never use is "king" since it is a concept we don't use although of course, "princess" and an occasional "prince" are a favorite story time theme. And we don't use "king" in relation to anything Christian or attached to the name Jesus.
That year, when autumn changes brought colder weather, I would hold her in my arms pointing up at clouds racing across the sky and tell her, "Winter is coming! That's why the leaves are falling. It's going to get colder. Winter is coming! Christmas is coming!"
With the arrival of Christmas decorations and images of Santa and reindeer on lawns and TV shows, she became more excited. She laughed and pointed to these signs saying, "Kwissmiss!"
This week we were dressing her to go out and see a local main street decorated with Christmas displays and piped-in carols.
As I prepared her to leave, I said, "The reason everyone celebrates Christmas is because it is Jesus's birthday. When Jesus was a baby, people celebrated His birthday."
She looked up at me directly at my face and said in a strong voice the single word, "KING." A little taken aback, because that is a word neither I nor my wife use with her, I repeated that the reason everyone does Christmas is to celebrate Jesus's birthday.
"KING" she said again in the same strong voice, again turning to looking directly at me.
I called my wife in and asked her to listen to this. I repeated my "...reason for the season" line and the little girl repeated the single word, "KING".
My wife's mouth dropped open and smiling, she asked her, "How do you know this?"
The little girl did something she only does when we play peek-a-boo but has never done out of context of playing that universal baby game.
She covered her eyes with her two little hands and remained silent ...hidden.
"Oh," my wife said, "I see!"
Whereupon she uncovered her eyes and with a mischievous smile, started to giggle and ran to the front door shouting, "KWISSMISS!"