Simeon is noticing Christmas this year– and it’s pretty gosh darn fun. This is our third holiday season as parents, and, while each year has been lovely in its own way, experiencing Christmas when your kid is old enough to actually notice (and care about) all the little details is definitely a step above. Sim hollers and points when he sees Christmas lights in our neighborhood. I swear his jaw dropped for a full 5 minutes when we brought our tree into our living room. He’s developed a strong affection for snowmen (he calls them “O-man,” by the way, and it’s the cutest thing that’s ever happened). Watching him take it all in has been a real treat.
Then, a few days ago, I realized that we hadn’t done much to help Simeon notice the biggest Christmas detail of all– the Nativity.
I know we’ve been talking about the Nativity at church and I get that he’s only two-years-old and probably not going to grasp the concept of “God Incarnate,” but figuring out how to make the Nativity real to him has felt complicated for me.
First off, I’m pregnant, which means we’ve already got a lot of “a-baby-is-coming!” talk swirling around our house. Every time I point out a depiction of Jesus in the manager, I get the feeling that it’s a bit confusing– probably because I’m making it confusing by saying things like this: “Hey, kid! We’ve got all these decorations up because a very special baby is about to be born… but not the baby we’ve been talking about for the last 8 months– a different baby and it’s a boy baby and He doesn’t live in my belly, He lives in our hearts and FYI you won’t really see him in person like the other baby (who is also still coming, by the way) but we’re still really excited about it nonetheless…” (<– weird explanations and making things too complicated is apparently my thing this Christmas).
Second, Simeon’s speech, while SO much better than it was 6 months ago (like, seriously– HEAPS better), is still significantly delayed so it’s difficult for me to know what he’s picking up on and what he’s not. Here’s how my attempt at touching on the subject went:
ME: (pointing to a picture in a book) Look Sim! That’s Jesus when He was a baby.
Simeon: (signing “baby” and speaking) Baybay!
ME: And that’s his mother, Mary.
Simeon: Baybay. Yeah.
ME: And look– here’s the angel that–
Simeon: (nodding seriously) Yeah. Uh-huh. Baybay. Baybay. Baybay. Eee. Ah doe! Ah ha! Eeeeeeeeek!!!
Simeon: (throws the book on the floor and shrugs) Uh-oh.
So I was basically feeling like the worst Christian mom in the world. If I don’t know how to talk to my kid about baby Jesus then how am I going to talk to him about salvation and redemption and resurrection (OMG resurrection? HOW am I going to tackle that?!). It was overwhelming. I don’t even have any good books on the Nativity (librarian fail) so I was freaking out– until I remembered the coolest little Christmas toy in all the land.
Enter the Little People Nativity Play Set from Fisher Price. BAM.
We were gifted this toy last year but it got packed away after the holidays and I had forgotten it existed. I stumbled upon it out last week and Simeon just loves it. It’s a slam dunk. He loves setting the pieces around the manger. He loves looking at the little baby. He loves when I make Mary and the baby Jesus give each other kisses. I feel like with all the snowmen and reindeer and Santas floating around, we finally have a good toy for introducing the big Kahuna of Christmas concepts.
I’m not saying he totally gets it (baby Jesus almost always ends up hanging out on the stable roof– see photo evidence above) and I’m not saying that the good folks at Fisher Price are now in charge of my child’s spiritual growth, but I do think that helping Simeon understand this story, even in small ways, can start now. I’d like to integrate Advent prayers into our evening routine over the next ten days and track down some good Nativity story books, but for today? The Little People Nativity Play Set totally wins in the Christmas-toy department.
Now it’s your turn!
- If you’re the blogging type, use the linky tool below to add your post to the Sharing Christmas link up. Just click on the “Click here to enter” link and follow the instructions. Your post can be ANYTHING Christmas related. We just want a little peek into how things are going this year. Got a great recipe or a favorite Christmas album or some thoughts on the season in general? Write all about it and share!
- If you aren’t the blogging type, I’d love to hear a bit about your holiday season in the comments (What are you eating/drinking/listening to/reading/contemplating in the days leading up to Dec. 25th?)
- Be sure to check out the posts shared by others and visit the other Sharing Christmas hosts to see how folks are making the most of this holiday season. Hop around, spread the good cheer, and make the internet a bit more jolly this week. Ho ho ho!