It’s a popular meme at this time of year that Christmas is for the kids and — incarnation of God and beginning of the world’s salvation not withstanding — it probably is as well.
Having two of the little ones myself I thought it might be nice to share some of the Christmas-related, children-related quotes and events that I’ve encountered. Some happened this year, others in previous years.
### Fair’s fair
My two were clamouring for one of the chocolates on offer after the carol service. I said they could have one each. My eldest (6 at the time) spotted the mince pies and — putting on his best smile — asked “Can I have a mince pie as well Dad?”. It’s Christmas. I said yes. At which point my youngest (4 at the time) started rifling through the tin of chocolates. When I asked what she was doing she responded (without looking up or stopping the rifling) with: “I don’t want a mince pie!”.
### Guess who’s coming to town
It was six days before Christmas and to say my two were excited is a gross understatement. School was out and they were gearing up for the big night in a big way. Despite their excitement we managed to get them upstairs to get ready for bed. I took the opportunity to make a cup of tea and after stirring, tapped the mug with the teaspoon (I don’t know, it’s a thing I always do). It made a slight tinging sound at which the two kids thundered down the stairs shouting “We heard the bells! Where’s Father Christmas?”
### New takes on the old old story
We’ve all encountered children who think the wise men brought “Gold, Frankenstein and Myrrh” but there are other cases of new words being used in the old story. I personally got in trouble as a child for saying the shepherds were washing their socks. I’ve also heard a version of Away in a manger where the cattle were “glowing” (presumably from standing too close to the angels). A friend’s child once asked why Mary and Joseph didn’t just drive home again if all the hotels were booked up but perhaps my favourite is the child who asked where the horses slept with all those people crowded in the stable.
### The _Real_ Father Christmas
When my niece was young I took her to see one of the many Father Christmas’s in a local shopping centre. Whilst queueing we passed the people exiting excitedly with their presents (and an emptier wallet). I heard a parent ask their little one if they enjoyed seeing Father Christmas. The child responded with “yes and I think this one is the _real_ one not some bloke pretending”. Then there was a pause and then the big brother (who was looking very fed up) said “He could do with getting his beard dry cleaned though!”.
The look that the parent gave the older child would have made Medusa proud.
### The trials of Christmas shopping
Last year I was in a shopping centre, a week or so before Christmas and took a moment to grab a rest while waiting for my wife. A Mother and her three children stopped and readjusted their myriad of bags next to me. The mother started running through her – mental – checklist to ensure they hadn’t forgotten anything. As she listed the gifts they had bought and who they were for, the middle of the three children began to interrupt. “Mum..”. The mother held up her hand to summon silence. “But..” Again the mother held up her hand and this continued through the list. Satisfied that they hadn’t forgotten anything she declared they could now go home. She then turned and asked what the middle child wanted. “I think Dad’s still in GAME” they said at which point the youngest threw up her arms and said “Oh great! We’ll *never* get him out of there!” _(For those who don’t know, GAME is a popular video game store in the UK)_
If you have any of your own, feel free to add them as comments here.