So far we've successfully avoided the topic of whether God exists, but Nico has made a point to explain to his grandparents that Santa Claus does not exist. (My parents know about this blog, BTW, so I assume that they're aware of the situation as well.)
As you may recall from the past three years that Nico believed Santa was real right up until last year. This year's round of Christmas specials, however, kind of finished it off. It wasn't the fact that Rankin-Bass produced two different (contradictory) Santa-origin stories. It was that he liked Santa Claus Is Coming to Town so well that he decided that he, Nico, would grow up to be Santa Claus! He's been intent on this idea for weeks, and -- scientifically-minded as he is -- it has entailed lots of elaborate discussions of the precise logistics of how the whole Santa thing works. This led him to conclude that Santa Claus is not real, but it would be fun to be him. Santa Nico, as it were, named (indirectly) after Saint Nicholas himself.
As for the question of Jesus, we're kind of zeroing in on it. Last night we all went to see a production of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Now, before you go jumping to the conclusion that my family is pushing the religious Christmas on us, I'll tell you that my mom presented this as one of the optional family events, and, in fact, my brothers did not attend (mostly because they didn't have any kids of the appropriate ages for the story). I opted in (for myself, my husband, and kids) because it was our Christmas tradition when I was a kid to read that book aloud as a family.
It actually ended up being a good intro to the religious side of Christmas. There's a whole comic scene where the main characters have to explain "The Christmas Story" to the bad kids because the bad kids (shockingly!) have never heard it! My kids also had never heard it, so they got a basic intro in real time.
The only tricky part was trying to keep Nico quiet because he is constantly full of questions! I had to sit next to him and let him whisper questions to me so that he would stop trying to ask questions aloud in full voice. For example, at the end when they were finally performing the pageant within the play:
Nico: So this story is in the Bible?
Nico: The Holy Bible?
Nico: Who are Mary and Joseph?
me: They're characters in the Bible.
Nico: Are they... gods?
Then on the way home, we had a brief discussion of why people say Christmas is Jesus's birthday (even though it's not). The conclusion was that they didn't write the date down anywhere, so that's the day that people have chosen to use as a celebration/remembrance date. And I managed to refrain from going into an elaborate discussion of pre-Christian Solstice festivals (though you know how much I love that stuff!) and I also avoided mentioning that there's no evidence that anything at all was written about Jesus during His lifetime, and that the legend of the trek to Bethlehem was likely invented by Jesus' followers and probably never happened even if we assume the Jesus character of the Bible is based on a real person, etc....
Conclusion: So far so good! :D