Latina Mommy

Teaching Toddlers the Meaning of Christmas—Latina Style!

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Now that our Thanksgiving festivities have come to an end, it's time to focus on La Navidad. I'm preparing for our family's annual Christmas tree decorating and lighting party, and I'm planning on using this time to talk to my 3-year-old, Hudson, about the true meaning of La Navidad. But how should I do this?

Do I tell him the story of the joyous white-bearded man dressed in red who carries a sack full of gifts to dole out to well-behaved children? Or, do I tell him the story my own mother told me about La Navidad (the nativity) and deck out my tree with the entire religious scene?

I grew up with a beautiful tree adorned with statues and family relics which depicted our beloved Virgin Mary, Joseph, the three kings, angels, shepherds and their flocks--and of course, newborn baby Jesus laid out in his manger bed. Ay Dios! Both stories do require a major leap of faith as they are each special in their sense of tradition and hopefulness. So which one should I go with?

Well, after giving it some thought, I realized I needed to handle this the way any Latina mommy would, and teach my son Hudson both beliefs. I've decided to combine some aspects of both stories, the ones which I know my son will listen to, understand, and appreciate the most. After all, I just want my son to enjoy La Navidad with his family and have fun!

While Hudson is too young to fully grasp the true meaning of Christmas, I know he will listen to my stories as he soaks up the lights, decorations, gifts, and family time. I'm excited to pass the traditions of my family down to my son, as I watch him relish in the fun and magic of Santa Claus during this time of year. The two most important things I want my son to take away from this time of year, is to just have fun and be grateful. So how did you talk to your kids about Christmas? I would love to know!

Do you love how Latina Mommy, Yesenia, blends two cultures together for her children? Check out how she does it with food!

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Photo via Yesenia Almonte