11 April 2009

Easter and the "easter bunny"?

I have four daughters 2yrs and under. Christmas last year brought a new enjoyable aspect because Katie our oldest was able to interact and “be apart” of our home Christmas celebration. My wife and I talked throughout last year trying to figure out what we are going to tell our daughters about “Santa Clause”. This reminds me that we are called, told to live in the world but not of the world. We are to live our lives as a testament to who’s we are and what we have in Christ our Lord, the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. Now that the wonderful and beautiful season of Easter is upon us the Easter Bunny has shown up. My wife approached me on Holy Saturday and said “I am not sure if I should feel guilty for not getting the girls Easter baskets with gifts and candy, to celebrate Easter.” I am not sure where this “tradition” has come from, just like I am not sure where a rabbit who lays colorful eggs came to represent Easter, the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour. My issue is I do not want to be a snob about this and look down at those who do celebrate Christmas with Santa Clause, or Easter with the Easter Bunny. I do however want to make it very clear to my family, especially my children, what happens and what the meaning is behind these most holy days of the church year. I don’t want my daughters to be the ones going to school happily telling everyone that there is no Santa Clause, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and etc… There is some time before my daughters are sent off to school, but I worry as I am sure every father and mother worries for their children, did I teach them well enough? Did I secure a right understanding of who they are in Christ and His work for them? As a new father I ask anyone to respond to this. What place does Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy or any other mythical/made-up character play in the celebration of the Christian life in and through the Church year, and how do you address this in your own family/congregation/community?

Thank you in advance and great blessings be upon you as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!!!


WM Cwirla said...

Just back from the Vigil and thought I'd check in. Great question. I don't have kids so I have no kid-creds, but I'll give you my 2 cents. We grew up with Easter baskets, Easter egg hunts, etc and not a word about an Easter bunny. (We did have Santa Claus, though.) I take CS Lewis' approach. There's no harm in "fairy stories." Just talk about Jesus' resurrection and her Baptism.

I like the idea of giving out special treats for Easter. It is, after all, a time of great feasting after the fast of Lent. I also like borrowing Easter traditions from other cultures, like banging Easter eggs together while saying, "Christ is risen!" It's like the wishbone at Thanksgiving. The one whose egg survives, wins.

In short, I wouldn't get too uptight about it.

David Cochrane said...

Pr Wright,

We have four children and 10 grandchildren. We have told them all about the fairytales of Santa Claus, Easter Bunny etc. So far so good they are all still believers in Jesus.

We had dire predictions from well meaning friends that those would draw them away from Christ. We did not buy into that but rather presented those stories as what they were. Stories to have fun with not things in which to believe.

Like Pr C said dont get too uptight about it.

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