I’m afraid that I have done a poor job explaining the rudiments of Christmas to Margaret. First, her grandmother showed her the various actors in the Christmas story, and she got a wee bit confused.
She learned to identify the mommy and the daddy and the baby and the bird-person, and the shepherd with the pipe (“toot-toot.”)*
But she decided that the manger was a plate, which either suggests that she understands transubstantiation, and has a much better grasp of Catholic theology than we anticipated, or she knows that a manger is called a manger because it is a word with French roots, and manger means eat in French. Or, possibly, she knows that mangers are plates for farm animals, and is far more concerned about the well-being of the cow and the donkey than of the baby. At any rate, I feel that I didn’t do a good job explaining, particularly when she did this with our kid-friendly nativity.
Our second Christmas-related failure of communication occurred every time I showed her a picture of Santa. She would point excitedly at him and say “Fwank!”
So Margaret’s view of Christmas is that we eat baby Jesus, and her grandfather dresses up in a funny red suit and gives her presents.
We’ll try again next year.
*I’m aware that the pipe-playing shepherd is not precisely canonical, but Margaret’s grandmother’s crèche has one, and Margaret likes it.