Family God Moments

Our Family’s Journey to Find God in the Everyday

Explaining Christmas to a toddler….


The Christmas season is so much more joyous when there are toddlers around! We have the opportunity to experience the “magic” of the season through their eyes. So fun to watch their reaction as they see the lights and decorations, taste the yummy treats and hot cocoa, sing and listen to the traditional holiday songs.

How strange it must be for this little person. They can’t remember doing the exact same things the year before, but must definitely sense that something special is happening! Those little brains must wonder how odd to now have a decorated tree in the house, and so silly to sing songs about reindeer and snowmen.

So fun – and such a huge responsibility! At this age, Christmas is what we tell them it is. The commercialized Christmas message from friends at school, TV commercials and the media are not yet as influential as what Mommy and Daddy say Christmas is. This is our chance – maybe our only chance – to really make this season be about the celebration of Jesus’ birthday.

So our little Lea (2 ½ years old and learning quickly what this world is all about) looked at the tree in our house with perplexed amusement. On the Friday after Thanksgiving we began filling our home with Christmas decorations, Advent calendars and nativity scenes. We were faced with her unasked question – “What, exactly, are you crazy adults doing now?!?” She doesn’t remember who Santa is. She doesn’t remember that on Christmas morning she will get new toys.

So, we get to tell Lea what this Christmas season is really all about.

Fade to the infamous scene from Charlie Brown Christmas, straight out of the King James Version:

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.   Luke 2:8-14

And to Lea we say, “That’s what Christmas is all about…”

Of course, this is a lot to take in for a 2 ½ year-old. So the message that remains is that we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus’ birthday. Soon – likely just a few weeks from right now – she’ll begin to see the other ways this world celebrates Christmas. But this is what she knows about Christmas right now. She wanders the house singing “Happy Birthday to Jesus.”

It is absolutely adorable, and part of our fun experience of having a toddler at Christmas time. But it is also a reminder for me. When my little girl is singing “Happy Birthday to Jesus” it is slightly more difficult to be stressed out and overwhelmed by the “to do” lists of the secular Christmas season!

So, keep singing, Lea! And Happy Birthday to Jesus!!

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2 thoughts on “Explaining Christmas to a toddler….

  1. Beautiful singing, Lea! Thank you for the reminder.


  2. Pingback: Some Things Never Change | Family God Moments

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