Confession: I told my kids there is no Easter Bunny.
I know, I know…some of you are thinking I’m a horrible parent. But then there are others who are probably thinking “Yes! I want to do that, too!”
Here’s why and how we did it.
The Easter Bunny or the idea of the Easter Bunny is just creepy. Weird. Not natural! Because, really? Are we really expecting kids to believe that a giant rabbit hops in to everyone’s house and leaves a basket of candy/toys? And why? Why do we want them to believe this?
Basically it comes down to the fact that there is no real legend behind the Easter Bunny like there is for Santa Clause (because I know you’re thinking I’m being hypocritical when we do participate in the Santa traditions). It seems like it was a way for non-Christians to mainstream the Easter holiday. Make it not so “Christian”. I know there are many, many households across the country that will be celebrating Easter this weekend and there will be no mention of Christ. A crucifix. An empty tomb.
I just got fed up with taking what is the most important holiday in the Christian faith and twisting it into something where we celebrate a rabbit. Where kids are more excited about a basket of toys and candy from a rabbit than the one true gift from their Savior. Where parents are so busy preparing baskets and eggs when they should be preparing their hearts for the Messiah.
Now I will say, we still do Easter Egg coloring and the kids will still get an Easter Basket and here’s why…
We actually had this discussion with the kids last year at about this time. We told the girls that some people like to believe in the Easter Bunny but we celebrate Easter for a different reason. And we talked about the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and rising. And they were totally cool with it.
As I said, we still color eggs and we do all sorts of different Easter-y crafts. We use the eggs to talk about Jesus and the empty tomb, among other lessons. And, yes, we even do Easter Baskets! The kids will still wake up to baskets of goodies on Easter morning. But they aren’t from some rabbit. They are from us, mom and dad. As a celebration for a very special day.
Of course I gave the girls strict instructions not to go around telling their friends that the Easter Bunny isn’t real. I don’t want us to be that family. And, again, they totally understood. But they also know it’s a great opportunity to tell their friends about Jesus, who he was, and what he did for us.
I think sometimes we underestimate our kids. Or at least I do. I thought the news of “no Easter Bunny” would crush them. But it didn’t. I think it actually made Easter a little more special for them because we now have one focus this weekend.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!