It was the night our family decided to tour the city to look at Christmas lights. My granddaughter was so excited.
“Our town has many houses and all families celebrate the holiday season in different ways,” I told the her as we buckled up.
Riding through an older part of town, we were thrilled to find so many lights and even a Santa giving out candy! I pointed out the size of the house, and the friendliness of the man in the Santa suit. As we drove away, my granddaughter asked, ‘Nana, does God know Santa Claus?”
“Our creator knows everyone. He knows the man wearing the outfit as no one on Earth knows him. He knows the spirit of the Santa Claus suit that many children love. It is a spirit of giving and sharing.”
Soon, we were in a different neighborhood of big, beautiful homes. There was a big cat looking out a window. Also there was a large Santa at the top of the chimney. Brea asked, “Will Santa go down that chimney?”
“The story of Santa coming down a chimney is a magical story, much like the ones we make up at night. Similar to the one about going fishing with a dog named Hoover and a cow named Molly. You know we don’t own those pets, but we have a good time creating stories. It is the same with the Santa stories. They were created to bring magic into a young child’s life. It is the parent’s, grandparents, and others that REALLY bring the excitement to the day!”
Our last stop was spent looking at the decorations at THE LOVE CENTER, a homeless shelter. I explained to Brea about the children who live there because their parents may be out of work, or be sick, and they need a place to live for a while. We observed the many residents sitting on the porch with children. One of the children was petting a cat.
As we drove away I said, “Remember the cat we saw in the window at the big house? It is a lucky cat! It belongs to a family who can afford the comforts of owning a ‘fat cat’. Ha! That means that cat doesn’t have to go out and hunt mice or prowl in garbage cans for food. Unlike the cat on the porch of the homeless shelter, that’s probably how it survives. That cat is called an ‘alley cat’.
“Well, our cat eats cat food, and also brings us mice and chipmunks and leaves them on our porch!” She exclaimed.
“We have a middle-class cat. Cats have different lifestyle, too. There are children in our hometown who come from many walks of life. And each family has their own traditions. A person’s beliefs about God will come from the family they were born into. The important thing about their beliefs is if they have a loving, caring family throughout the year. We have to acknowledge the difference in all people and their choice of worship, or non-worship and hope that with all the different cultures, and traditions that we share one goal, and that is we choose love and kindness as a way to live and to respect other people’s beliefs and not judge them.”
Brea was silent for a moment and then said, ‘Nana, my teacher, Mrs. Brown said God made and loves all his creations, so I guess he loves all the people in all the houses.”
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from my family to yours.
P.S. Don’t forget to read my blog: www.rosieprestonsblog.com