I Finally Told My Kids The Easter Bunny Wasn’t Real…
Yep. I did it. And guess what? They surprised me by saying they were relieved to know! When asked, they said they suspected he wasn’t real and hearing the truth from their number one authority on matters such as these (me), was a comfortable release from ambiguity.
You might wonder why I told them. I actually surprised myself, as I had no plans to do so this year. I suspected my oldest daughter (12) had her doubts and the kids had found candy & those plastic Easter egg bag wrappers under our bed last year. But that isn’t why I told them.
This year has been different than years past. I think it has to do with finding my new church. I feel so Spirit filled. I have a new pair of glasses on. Things just don’t look the same. As I have contemplated Easter this week, I just couldn’t feel good about the celebration of Ēostre, the goddess of fertility. Rabbits, eggs, fertility- get it?
Even as a child, as much as I loved stories of the Easter Bunny & the basket of goodies, I never understood what they had to do with Jesus’ resurrection. Fact is, they don’t.
They actually stem from Germanic paganism. While exact dates & circumstances differ from source to source, there is no doubt that our Easter (the name, anyway) stems from the name of the goddess Eostre. Why the Roman Catholic Church also adopted this name, month & time to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection has been the subject of many controversies. Some feel that the Catholic Church was attempting to gain pagan converts via a compromise with their pagan rituals. That sounds about right to me, but who really knows? It’s not the details that bug me.
It is the paganism of the name, Easter, and the symbols of eggs & rabbits that led me to blurt out the truth in the car the other day. It was depressing me when I wanted to feel the joy of Jesus- to celebrate the day Jesus conquered the grave! But instead, all this focus & work around something that leads to death. I just couldn’t stand it! And, so, I spilled the beans..
As a parent, I just wasn’t thrilled about buying Easter eggs, coloring Easter eggs, hiding Easter eggs, making baskets of Easter eggs and celebrating a magical bunny coming to our home again. I even resented the cooking of a big, Easter dinner & going to visit neighbors who don’t love Jesus- just because it is the tradition! It feels burdensome- the exact opposite of what Jesus intended for us!
Because he took the burden from us the day he rose again!
And yet, paganism would put the burden on us again.
I just want to focus on Jesus today & tomorrow. I want to sing songs & feel my spirit soar. I want to dance for my Lord and do all that is pleasing in his sight. I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit and experience that joy only Christians know about. What I really want for tomorrow is to go to church. I wish I could go all day. I think it would be great to celebrate there with a giant picnic feast. Outside in the blazing sun with flowers blooming everywhere. I want to love the Lord with friends who love him as much as I do. I don’t want something complicated & full of work and boasting. I don’t want to obsess on house cleaning, lawn mowing and other complete distractions!
I wish I could say that I completely won the battle against Ēostre by revealing the truth to my children, but I don’t think I have. Their little eyes & lips looked up to me and asked, “But will you & Daddy still hide the Easter eggs for us to find?” and guess what? I gave in. They asked, “Can we still color Easter eggs?” and you already know what I said. And when my neighbor (who refuses to acknowledge Jesus) reminded me of our yearly invitation to her Easter dinner, yes, I said, yes, we’d love to come.
I’m not happy about that part. But am I wrong in my desire not to hurt the little ones? Am I wrong to wish for peace & harmony with my neighbor? I hope not. A small victory was won because my kids will not be celebrating the Easter bunny this year. I’m pretty sure they are truly focused on Jesus- they love him too. I can only hope that God is guiding my actions concerning the rest. What do you think?