Thursday, November 13, 2008

The News Seems So Scary When You're a Kid

So my wife was looking at a news story today, when my six-year-old wandered up to her and started reading over her shoulder.

The story was on Fox News, and was about an advertising campaign being put on by a bunch of atheists just in time for Christmas, trying to persuade everyone (in the D.C. area) that there's "probably" no God.

Fox News, in its usual way, put up a fairly sensational headline incorporating the phrase "The War On Christmas." This was what caught the Pillowfight Fairy's eye.

She knew enough to be worried, so in deep suspicion she asked Mommy: "What does that mean?" And so Mommy explained that there are many people in the world who do not believe in God the way we do, and want to convince others not to believe in God either. And these people are trying to do away with Christmas as a national holiday--at least, the religious portions of it. Some want to do away with it altogether.

And the Fairy got rather perturbed by this knowledge. Mommy reports that she had difficulty forming her thoughts into sentences after this. "Does this mean... they want to... that we won't... will we be forced to..."

She was becoming worried that there are certain Bad People out there who are trying to stop Christmas from coming. This isn't such a far-fetched idea, I suppose, to a six-year-old who's been raised on The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

So Mommy realized that she had a lot of explaining to do here. First she explained that the word "War" in the headline was in fact just a metaphor, that it was a conflict of ideas, and that we wouldn't really have to start fighting over Christmas. The Fairy was in fact a little worried about that. And further, Mommy explained to her that no one would be stopping Christmas from coming. We're going to celebrate Christmas the way we always do, even though there are some people out there who'd rather wish we didn't.

I'm not sure how well Mommy's reassurances sank in, because both the Pillowfight Fairy and the Adrenaline Junkie (who overheard her sister talking about a "War on Christmas") were still talking quite animatedly about it when I got home from work some time later.

Of course, this means that both of them have been thinking about Christmas quite a bit today, and neither of them can possibly wait all the way to December 25th.
Pillowfight Fairy: I want Christmas to come now! I can't wait for it!

Adrenaline Junkie: Me too! Me too!

Mommy (responding to the Fairy): Yes, you will.
It's going to be a long seven weeks. Longer if there's a war....

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