Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Catholic Hanukkah

Luke learned about Hanukkah at school and constantly mentions the one Jewish girl in his class named Alexis. He's learned several tidbits about Hanukkah, but he definitely doesn't have it figured out. We are Christian, but I think it is great that he is learning about other religions. Still, I guess I hadn't planned on having to explain other religions quite so soon.

He's learned about the king named David, the menorah, a dreidel, the Festival of Lights, and the Star of David. The only problem is that he's more interested in Hanukkah than Christmas (probably because it is new and interesting). Last night, while playing with his friend Maddie, he asked her if she was going to come visit us for Christmas. She answered no since she is visiting her grandparents during the holidays. Luke copped a know-it-all attitude and said (without any malice or judgment), "Jews don't visit people on Christmas, so you must be Jewish." I was laughing too hard to know how Maddie responded. So, I am officially apologizing to Maddie's parents for any confusion Luke may have incited with his comments.

I even had to buy a book on Hanukkah today so that I could attempt to explain it all to him, iron out the details and field the questions. But, he's so obsessed with menorahs and the Star of David (which he also once described as the Parallelogram of David). Hell, I even did some research and even found myself of - a website I never considered or thought I'd visit. We're going to work on it, but being Catholic, I feel like I shouldn't allow his education on Hanukkah to outweigh his education on Christmas, but what's the harm in him learning more about religion, the bible, and the wonder of God? Then again, he has no interest in the three wise men and he keeps asking if we're going to get 8 candles. Even at church this morning, while the priest was giving the homily on the fourth Sunday of Advent - preparing for the birth of Jesus, my son loudly "whispered", "Is he talking about Hanukkah?" I glanced around to see if anyone was giving me a look, and then mentioned said, "No, he's talking about Jesus. Hanukkah is not about Jesus. We'll talk more about it at home." Not sure how to handle it, or if I should even give it another thought. It's rather amusing really. Any thoughts out there?


Jess said...

I say just ride it out. I would maybe also pull out a calendar when you talk about Hanukkah and Christmas. I think Hanukkah was officially over on the 19th. Maybe if you show him it is over on the calendar, he will focus a little more on Christmas.

It seems like you are trying to explain it too him with all the research. When Nicholas asked me why we don't celebrate Kwanza/Hanukkah last year, I had to talk with him out how everybody is different and how people celebrate different faith traditions. Maybe you can find a "Story of Christmas" activity out there for he and Evie to do this week in preparation of Christmas Eve. Something like making a manger scene ... I am not sure.

Even though I feel confident that Nicholas knows why we don't celebrate Hanukkah, he still loves to sing the Driedel Song at the top of his lungs.

Jess said...

Please ignore my grammatical errors...typing too fast :)

Joan said...

How about reminding him that this is something Jesus celebrated as a child and bring it back around to Christmas.

Mom said...

He has such an enormous thirst for knowledge. I likes Jess's ideas.