Our family is not an especially religious family. I was raised Lutheran, but if I had to put a name to my beliefs I would say Deist, maybe. Hubby is Jewish, and we are raising DD Jewish. My parents are very devout Christians who have come to terms (but don't necessarily like) the fact that we are raising DD Jewish, so there is that in the picture as well.
We don't go to services very often, maybe a few times a year, but she has been to a synagogue. We do Shabbat at home as often as we can, and celebrate the other holidays at home too. She knows the stories behind each holiday, Jewish songs, and a few Hebrew words, so she had definitely had 'exposure' to Judaism. Just not a lot.
Lately, she seems to be extremely curious about Christianity..well, from a 4 year old perspective. During the spring, she asked to go to church (her close friend at preschool goes to church every Sunday). She said she would rather go to church than temple. Last week, I was reading her a story from the Torah, and then we got into a small discussion about different bibles (Hebrew, Christian, Koran,etc). She said she would rather hear stories from the Christian Bible. When I asked why, I realized she thought the Christian Bible was about her friend named Christian. I did not do a very good job trying to explain the difference between someone who is Christian, and people named Christian. Any advice on tackling that subject with a quite intelligent 4 year old?
Then yesterday, completely out of the blue (why July? I'd understand December, but now?) she asked if she could have her picture taken with Santa. I asked why, and she said she liked the ice palace (at our local mall last decemeber), and she wanted her picture taken there. I told her we could go and I could take her picture in front of the ice palace, but that our family doesn't celebrate Christmas, so Santa is part of a holiday that we do not celebrate. And then, for the very first time, I also told her that we don't believe in Santa Claus. It just popped out of my mouth. Until now, we have always avoided the Santa Claus discussion. She was never interested, and I didn't want to tell her something that could be told to other kids who do believe. It didn't faze her at all, but she is still adamant in wanting to meet him.
One other example, a few months ago she asked me who Jesus was. I have no idea where she even heard about Jesus. I told her that some people, including grandma and grandpa, believe that Jesus is the son of God. Jewish people like daddy, believe differently. She said: "But I believe in Jesus." I know she has no idea what that really means, but that was another time we were totally at a loss of what to say.
DH doesn't know how to answer these questions. I don't either. I was raised Christian, and have no experience being a child who has a different faith from the majority. His mom says DH and his brother never asked about it when they were kids, or she doesn't remember. And we don't know how to handle this sudden interest Christianity, but zero interest in Judaism. I was expecting this during the teen years, but from a preschooler? I have no idea what to do! We also have friends who are Muslim, Buddhist, athiest, and agnostic. She never takes an interest in any other religion than Christianity.
Any suggestions on how to handle this? I know we could take her to temple more often, and that might help, but I have largely left the religious stuff up to my husband, since I really shy away from attending services of any kind (I do go with them whenever he has the urge to go). Dear hubby, not super religious himself, is not quite the take initiative type of person, so it never happens.
Sorry about the long-winded post!