I was waiting in the examination room of the pediatrician’s office with my two daughters. They were digging through the basket of children’s books in the corner, and my 4-year-old found a small board book with a red and green cover. “Here, Mommy,” she said as she brought it to me, “let’s read this one. It’s about Christmas.”
My daughters know a fair amount about Christmas. They go to a home daycare run by a lovely Catholic woman; she does Hanukkah crafts and plays Shira Kline’s music even as a large tree decorated with lights and colorful ornaments stands in the corner of her living room. They understand that Christmas is something that our Christian friends do, and that we’re Jewish, so we celebrate other holidays.
I flipped through the small board book and saw the name “Jesus” on several pages. “Oh, sweetie,” I said, “I don’t feel like reading this one. It’s not Christmas time. Let’s find another book. How about Peter Rabbit?”
It had been a long day of working, running errands, and packing for our synagogue’s retreat over the weekend. The visit to the doctor’s office was squeezed in between daycare and dinner after I noticed that my 3-year-old’s tonsils looked swollen (they turned out to be fine, of course). Even on a good day, explaining the Jewish perspective on Jesus to a preschooler would feel tricky to me. At the end of a busy day, I couldn’t imagine where to start…
The rest of the post is over on Kveller.com.