My four year old daughter asked me this as she was doing the three day countdown to Hanukkah. I’m Catholic and she is Jewish, as is my husband. We made this decision a long time ago and so far it has been very easy. But when I got this question I couldn’t give her my parents response which always was, “don’t talk about presents Christmas is about baby Jesus’ birthday – not gifts!” I still cringe when I hear people getting excited purely because of presents.
I’m happy to report after the second night of Hanukkah she knows the gifts come from family and friends and that she will celebrate with mommy on Christmas. However, I took the advice of many Jewish friends and family who said Hanukkah shouldn’t be that big of a deal and you shouldn’t go crazy with the gifts – do little things. So far she is not impressed with her gifts of a book light (she “reads” in bed every night in the dark) and two Dr. Seuss Books. “Mommy do you have any princess gifts?’
So for now it is about the presents and the lighting of the candles. Luckily I’ll have time to figure this out before her brother and sister can understand anything. We’ll milk the time we have.