Since having children I have struggled with an inner conflict surrounding holidays…mainly the secular views of Easter and Christmas. I get where Santa came from…even though I don’t agree with the commercialization that Christmas has become in our society…and as much as I don’t like it I get how it evolved from the old story of St. Nicholas giving to others in need because God gave us Jesus…Immanuel…God with us that first Christmas night. But the Easter bunny…really? Easter eggs? That I just don’t get! It makes no sense…and Wikipedia gave me no help as to how in the world the Easter bunny derived from Jesus’ resurrection. It is just a cockamamie story…what in the world are we filling our kids heads with poppycock for?
You know how they say children’s minds are like sponges…that’s why they say to teach young kids another language early because they pick it up in nothing flat! So…why do we as a society pump our kids full of fairy tales…especially when we have a greatest Book ever written with the best, most amazing (and TRUE) stories that no human could ever dream up! Though I’m guilty of it too…I have a sneaking suspicion that Emalynn still believes that Ariel is swimming around in the Caspian Sea somewhere! That would be my fault…I love me some Little Mermaid. But when we’re talking about the days we celebrate Jesus and His birth and His death and resurrection…why do we result to rubbish instead of what is true? If their minds are like sponges and absorb everything…why are we leading them down the bunny trail instead of the straight and narrow?
We’ve never observed Santa at our house and people…especially some Christians…think I’m nuts but I’m sorry…actually I’m not sorry…Christmas is about Jesus. It never even dawned on me to tell Emalynn at her first Christmas that her gifts came from Santa when she was 5 months old. We were too busy telling her Christmas was Jesus’ birthday! It’s never too early…and who has time for Santa? Then in the years following random people started asking her if Santa came to her house. She looked at them in bewilderment…and so did we. When we would politely say “No…Santa doesn’t come to our house…we celebrate Jesus.”…we got all kinds of reactions from “That’s good…that’s what it’s all about!” to “What!?.” As my husband says… “It is what it is.”
Some people might think we’re terrible parents because we’re not doing Easter baskets. Now grandparents on the other hand always go crazy with our kids and that’s their right…they spoil them (with the understanding the gifts are from Grandpa and Grandma…not a soft, furry fictitious creature) and everyone has great fun…but Easter for us as parents is a celebration that Jesus is ALIVE…death couldn’t hold Him and He’s coming again! He is risen! Not only do we want to approach Holy Week with reflective reverence ourselves but explaining its Truth to our children is a huge responsibility…why would we want to confuse them with fables of hares delivering eggs…things that are not true…because it’s festively “fun”!? I just don’t get it! Only the human race could take THE single most significant day that forever changed the course of the history of the world and screw it up with nonsense. I know, I know…BA-HUMBUG!
With that being said I absolutely do not judge parents who choose to celebrate with Santa and Peter Cottontail. For our family we personally feel convicted not to and certainly not in an attempt to sway others or offend them. What I don’t understand is how others are offended by our personal choices of Truth but don’t consider in the least that we might be offended when they attempt to fill our children’s heads with hogwash. I wish people would be as respectful to us as we are to them. Why must people ask our children about Santa or the Easter bunny or for goodness sake the tooth fairy assuming everyone participates in these, frankly, dumb traditions! However I must confess I am very, very sorry that despite our very best efforts Maxwell proclaimed during show & tell at preschool when a friend told everyone his toy was from Santa…”Santa’s not real!” Ugh…it had to by my child! We don’t want to blow it for others but let’s face it…um…he’s not real. And if something isn’t Truth…isn’t it a lie?
What would the world be like if we all decided to stop buying into Christmas and Easter with chicks and reindeer and other false idols. To many, they see it as harmless fun…but is it? I have witnessed people up in arms over protecting the false identity of Santa and the Easter Bunny…but when it comes to Jesus…they’re silent? What would it be like if we all searched for the TRUTH instead of the latest, greatest toys or useless trinkets and sugar for filling baskets and stockings. While we’re emptying our wallets…what are we filling our hearts with? Stuff? We all know that doesn’t work so why do we continue to do it year after year? Okay, so sales on candy and toys might slump a little bit and if we’re honest the cover up of the secular view of Easter being about spring and new beginnings with sweet little bunnies and adorable chicks and pastel colors…no…sorry…its still about money to corporate America. If we all decided to focus on the Truth I know we would all be happier…we would all have more peace…real peace. We would find ourselves out of the rat race and in the pew…we would enjoy time with our families and not be running here and there and everywhere. So…why do we settle for mediocre when we can have the absolute best? Because our parents did it and we “grew up on it”? Because it’s tradition? Because everyone else is doing it? Because we haven’t even given it a second thought? Because it’s “fun”?
Obviously there is much I just don’t understand. Just like I’m prepared to take some heat over the fact that I don’t like Barbie because she is not how God wants us to view ourselves or each other I’m ready for others to call me crazy or radical or a ba-humbug over my beef with Santa and Peter Cottontail and that’s fine. We simply choose to celebrate the Truth of the good news of Jesus with our children this time of year..and every other day for that matter. I couldn’t imagine Christmas or Easter…or any other day…without Him! We have made a conscious decision to choose what is best. For those who don’t feel the same I so earnestly hope it isn’t my loud-mouth child that ruins it for the children who believe in…what exactly?
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.” Exodus 20:4