The Gift Of The Religious Aunt

, , , , , | Related | December 24, 2019

(This story happens when I am five, visiting relatives. It’s important to note that, in Italy, there are three traditional Christmas holiday figures: “Daddy Christmas” — Santa Claus — Baby Jesus, and La Befana. In my household, it’s Daddy Christmas that delivers the presents.)

Aunt: “By the way, [My Name], have you written your letter to Baby Jesus yet? What have you asked Him?”

Me: “No, I’ve written a letter to Santa; why write to Baby Jesus?”

Aunt: “What do you mean, ‘Why write to Baby Jesus’? He’s the one who gives gifts.”

Me: *confused* “I mean, yes, He has given me the sky and the birds and Mommy and Daddy, but Daddy Christmas gives me toys and candy.”

Aunt: *puts a hand on my shoulder* “Yes, but He loves giving toys; if you don’t ask Him for toys and ask somebody else, He’s gonna cry and get mad and then tell the Befana, who then will kidnap you!”

Me: “B-but…”

(I then started to cry, loudly. When I told my mother a few hours after, she tried to reconcile the two things, telling me that Baby Jesus just made the gifts, while La Befana and Daddy Christmas delivered them, which worked. However, every year until I no longer believed in them, my aunt would tell me to write a letter to Baby Jesus and give it to her. This was a bit of a mixed blessing, given that it taught me to try to avoid her, since her behaviour extended to other aspects of life as well, and to this day she cannot accept the idea of evolving family traditions.)

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