Lesson 83: Christmas isn’t about Santa–or cupcakes–but it’s okay if your 2-year-old thinks it is

Have you ever had that moment as a parent when you pat your back and nod approvingly, perhaps a little arrogantly, at yourself as you think what a good job you just did?

This isn’t that moment.

As Christmas has approached this year, we’ve been having a blast with J because this is the first year that he’s really into it. He’s talking about Santa, exclaiming over the Christmas lights, talking about Santa, asking to listen to Christmas songs, talking about Santa…

Have I mentioned that he’s talking about Santa?

And that’s not a bad thing. I like Santa–he’s a good guy. And I love the magic that comes with Santa, so I’m nurturing his curiosity and encouraging his joy.

But on the way home from school today, when he brought up Santa for the 1,424,398th time this season, I thought, maybe I need to tell him that Christmas isn’t about Santa. So I turned off the radio, put on my serious Mommy voice, and said, “J, do you know why we celebrate Christmas?”

Of course he replied, “No.” He’s 2. He always replies no.

So I told him, “Christmas is Jesus’ birthday. We celebrate Christmas so we can celebrate Jesus’ birthday.”

He immediately exclaimed, “We eat cake?!”

“Sure baby, we can have a cake for Jesus’ birthday. That’s a good idea!”

So he’s sitting in the back seat all excited and clapping his hands. I let the moment settle and then I ask him, “So J, why do we celebrate Christmas?”

He says, “To eat cupcakes!”

Huh. That didn’t quite go how I had hoped.

I’m okay with his current understanding. He’s 2. Just trying to plant a seed over here…

However, we might consider talking about our Nativity set a little more.


(I don’t really know where to credit this picture…it’s not mine. But it made me giggle snort.)




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