In case you were wondering, the Blanchet home is non-denominational. I was raised Catholic (and it's been years since I've been to Church). J's dad was inches away from becoming a Catholic priest, but changed his path and kind of dropped the whole religion thing (for their entire family) all together. When J and I decided to have kids, we decided that we weren't going to raise our children with the beliefs of any specific religion. Since J never had it in his life and I kind of felt like it was forced upon me, we thought that we would give our kids the opportunity to practice any religion they wanted once they were old enough to make an informed decision on their own.
This has both succeeded and failed. We do not currently practice any religion, but to appease our relatives we had (or will soon have) all of our daughters christened (baptized? blessed? whatever you want to call it). The concept of God has never really come up. Dizzle has asked about where you go when you die, but I try to keep the explanation as simple as possible (since she is only four). All in all, we don't really talk about religion to our kids and today this became apparent to me.
Dizzle and Doodle were asked if they would like to be in the Christmas pageant at a friend's church. Knowing that my girls would LOVE to, I jumped at the opportunity. But then I realized that they have NO CONCEPT of who Jesus is. I felt the need to "fill them in" on the back story of the Christmas pageant. I wanted to explain to them that Christmas is really not about Santa, but the birth of Christ. Our conversation went a little something like this.
Me: "So girls, we are going to go to Miss G's house to have dinner and then we are going to go to the Church to have a dress rehearsal."
Dizzle: "What is a Church?"
Me: "It's a place people go to worship."
Dizzle: "Oh. Is it the wedding place?"
Me: "Yes, it's the wedding place. Anyway, this "play" you are going to be in is about how Christmas came to be. You see Christmas is really a celebration of Jesus Christ."
Dizzle: "Who is that?"
Me: "The son of God. Anyway, his birth was so important that Christians everywhere began to celebrate it every year and it became what we know today as Christmas."
Dizzle: "OK. So is he (Jesus) going to be at the Church?"
Me: "No, Dizzle. Jesus was born a very long time ago and he is no longer with us."
Dizzle: "Oh, so is someone going to pretend to be him?"
Me: "Yes, just like you are going to pretend to be an angel and Doodle is going to pretend to be a sheep."
Dizzle: "What did the angels do when the Christmas baby was born?"
Me: "They watched over him."
Dizzle: "And what did the sheep do? Sheep are supposed to be on a farm."
Me (knowing Dizzle thinks Jesus was born in a hospital with sheep walking around): "Well, Jesus was born in a manger. It's kind of like a farm."
Dizzle: "Oh. Well, what kind of shoes do angels wear?"
And that was that ... Do you think they got it?