Originally created 12/21/96

Jesus can be confusing to kids



Understanding the importance of Jesus' birth is simple for 6-year-old Mackenzie Mullins.

"He's the greatest person on Earth," said Mackenzie, arching his eyebrows and looking confident.

It's the details of Jesus' birth that stump the kid.

The kindergartener at Westminster Preparatory School lists the hotel manager as one of the special visitors who saw baby Jesus in the stable.

The hotel manager is his description of the innkeeper.

As Christmas Day approaches, Mackenzie and other Augusta and Aiken area children who've heard the story of Jesus' birth try to re-create the scene in their own terms and pick out their favorite parts, with varying degrees of success.

"It's about he was a baby and he was grown up and helped his daddy," said 4-year-old Adam Welch, a pre-schooler at First Baptist Church of Gracewood.

Jesus was born in a manager in Bethlehem, said 5-year-old Baylee Stack, pronouncing Bethlehem like "Bethleham" and adding, "he was wrapped in swaddling clothes."

Swaddling clothes are just one of the several terms kids like Baylee can repeat but can't define.

They do know the basics: the stable, the star, the shepherds.

By why was Jesus born in a stable?

"There was no room in the inn," said Caroline Mullins, 6, matter-of-factly. "That's the only place he could be born."

After he was born, people such as the wise men and shepherds came to see him, the kids say.

"God told them," said Baylee, who attends kindergarten at First Baptist Church of Gracewood.

Classmate Michelle Luck, 6, said the shepherds went to see baby Jesus to worship, and there were "different kinds of men, but I don't know what they're called."

She's talking about the wise men who rode on camels to see Jesus, according to 4-year-old Adam Welch. That's one of his favorite parts of the Christmas story.

"The camels (were there). They have a bump and it could hurt their bodies," said the pre-schooler at Gracewood's First Baptist.

Most kids can remember that Mary was Jesus' mother, and for 4-year-old Missy Biernot, she's one of the best parts of the tale.

"I like when Mary takes care of him," the pre-schooler said.

With visions of Christmas presents in her mind, Laura Butler, 7, picks out the wealthy three kings bearing gifts as her favorite scene. The shining Christmas star, which led the kings to Jesus, is the object 7-year-old Anna Gahman picks out from the story.

Then she thinks of Christmas and two things also come to her mind: "It's God's birthday, and you get lots of presents."