Chanukah season comes from the mouth of the almost eight-year-old boy that lives with me. The guy I call "Little Jack" told me he hates Christmas and that Christians don't know how to share. I look down at the big guy and say that there is no reason to hate Christmas. He replied with a large dose of almost eight-year-old boy logic and reason.
"Christians need to share the holidays with us. All we ever see are Christmas decorations and Christmas songs. Why aren't there more Jewish things. That would be more fair."
Being the good father I smiled in a fatherly way and said "there are a lot more Christians here and because of that there tends to be more Christmas stuff. There is really no reason to hate it."
He grimaced at me and said that there was no reason why they couldn't share better and that for every Christmas show there should be at least one Chanukah. I told him that I understood, but sometimes life isn't fair and that it is still not a reason to hate the holiday.
"But dad, they are celebrating a lie. Santa Claus is a fat faker!"
I asked him why he said that and where he had heard such things. He told me that I had taught him that Santa was fake and that we didn't believe in Christmas or Christian things.
I replied and told him that was correct and then asked him if I had ever told him that he should hate Christmas or that it was a lie. And that was where he really hit me with another solid dose of almost eight-year-old boy logic and reason.
"No, you never said any of those things. But if it is not real then it must be a lie and I hate being lied to. And I really hate being lied to when people can't share. Why can't they share better!"
Now I have to admit that I can see exactly how he came to his conclusions and part of me was proud of his deductive reasoning skills. However, I don't want him running around saying these things to other people. It is not right and I made sure that I explained it to him.
I told him that it is ok for people to have other beliefs and that we didn't care. As long as they are not forcing those beliefs upon others we don't care. I explained that if someone told him that his beliefs were predicated upon a lie he would be angry. He asked me to repeat that line, "predicated upon a lie" and then asked me to explain what it meant. Note to self, don't be surprised when he uses that line upon me.
We went back and forth for a few more minutes about being tolerant and why I would be intolerant of him telling other kids that Santa isn't real and that Christmas is a lie. Eventually he told me that he understood, but he did tell me that he wants to talk to Santa. I asked why and he told me that he wants to tell him that he shouldn't try and fool kids into believing that he is real.
So the gift I got out of this conversation is the knowledge that the big guy can be just as stubborn and singleminded of purpose as his dad.
Two days after this conversation he told me that he wants to go visit one of our elderly neighbors to help decorate her tree. I hesitated for a moment and then asked him why he'd want to help if he hated the holiday. He looked at me as if I was stupid and said, "I don't hate it that way dad." And then he proceeded to make me feel very proud as he told me that he thought that since our neighbor was old it would be really nice to help her decorate her tree and make her smile.
A few other notes to share. Every Chanukah we tell the children that we need to go through their old toys and find some to give away to children who don't have any. The dark haired beauty was irritated with her older sibling and tried to show it by piling up some of his new gifts and suggesting that they would be good gifts for other kids.
As you might imagine this was not well received by the big guy. His father however has to admit to trying hard not to smile. It is hard not to when a pretty little girl in a princess dress smiles at you. Oh did I mention that she used her magic wand to give to me everything I want including "super magic."
Not quite sure what "super magic" is, but I think that it must be pretty good. Maybe I'll do some research upon this and report back later. That is it for now.