Angela asks how to explain to a three year old why we are celebrating Christmas again – obviously she is discovering the joys of childhood curiosity. Hang in there, Angela: the questions only get harder from here on!
Anyhow, here are a few of my suggestions on handling this delicate situation. Please note that some of them involve the tongue being placed firmly in the cheek. I should point out that my own kids passed the age of three some time ago, so please forgive me if the answers below seem a little rusty. I’ve been dealing with teenage questions for so long I’ve forgotten how nice the simple enquiring mind of a toddler can be…
1. We mucked it up the first time so we thought we’d have another go.
2. I wasn’t happy with my presents so I asked Santa to come back for an exchange.
3. What? You mean it’s only been two weeks and not 12 months???
4. We’re practising counting up to 2.
5. We have our Christmas AFTER the Boxing Day sales so we can get our presents on special.
6. Jesus is SO special He is the only one in the world who gets TWO birthdays every year!
7. There’s Western Christmas and Coptic Christmas because our calendars have gotten a little bit confused. One day we’ll fix them and then we’ll all just celebrate Christmas on together on the same day. Maybe when you’re a grandpa.
Readers should feel free to make up for my poor efforts by contributing their own explanations as a comment.
PS For those who’d like a more serious explanation for the double Nativity, I will post a detailed paper on the Coptic calendar shortly.