My Beef with the Bunny


I feel the need to explain why I hate the Bunny.  I had no animosity toward this spring tradition until this weekend.

Monday morning, as I was praying for my little class of 6 and 7 year olds (they were 5 and 6 when we started this adventure — they’re so big now), I started thinking about the conversation between the boy and the girl.  For the first time, I felt angry about the Bunny.

Easter Sunday…THE Sunday of Sundays…was not the exciting, celebratory lesson that I had hoped it would be.  Sunday School was the “do-I-have-to?” activity of the weekend.  It was the “between egg hunts” activity.  It was the big letdown after the discovering-all-of-the-goodies-in-the-basket activity.

After a morning celebrating the Bunny and the joy of discovering their baskets, the children came to church to learn about the real meaning of Easter.  And while they were there, what they really believe about Easter (the stuff that happens at home) reared its head.  These children defended the existence of the Bunny until they were in tears!  Real tears!  Over something that isn’t even real.

Could I tell them the truth?  Absolutely not.  If I said, “No, Honey, the Easter Bunny isn’t real,” then I could have expected to hear a complaint from one, if not all, of the mothers because I have ruined Easter for her child.  (And probably ruined Christmas, too, because when one falls, they all fall.)  But I couldn’t say, “Yes, the Easter Bunny is real,” because I had to tell the truth.  A few of the children do not believe in the Bunny; what would they think if I lied to the class?

I was upset yesterday because too many parents can’t be bothered to help their children memorize one verse per week, but will bend over backwards to fill a basket in order to pretend that an overgrown rabbit came to visit them in the night.

It just made me sad.

When I sat down to blog yesterday morning, that’s what was on my mind.

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20 thoughts on “My Beef with the Bunny

  1. Its kinda crazy what we do. Our kids do Santa, I love doing Santa, and I’m sad that my 9 year old knows “the deal” about it all.

    But we’ve never done the Easter Bunny. Each year my kids get a basket, but it is from us. Last year we told the kids no basket, but they could pick out any pair of crocs they wanted (my kids are NUTS for crocs)….so it was loved by them. This year we went to Build a Bear and built a bunny 🙂 And that was fun too. It helps my kids aren’t crazy about candy.

    But I just never did swollow the bunny pill as a kid and I never passed it on to my kids. But somehow a big fat guy who rides in a sled all over the world in one night is believable to me 🙂

    I think we each do what we need to for our kids and try not to ruin it for others kids, we’re fine 🙂

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    1. And FYI my kids know all good things come from Jesus too 🙂

      We also read Harry Potter, watch sci-fi movies and do various and sundry churchy-controversial things as well when it comes to the imagination. But it is okay—we have plenty of friends who don’t, and I think that’s fine. We each do what we think is best for our own family.

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      1. I agree. We say “yes” to other things, too (movies and books, for example), that I’m sure other Christians would not approve for their children. But we (Karl and I) try to keep Jesus the center of our home. I think we (and I mean, me) need to be careful, though, in discerning whether it’s our faith that is allowing us to do those things or the culture.

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  2. I totally agree with your thoughts Leslie! Thank you for having the courage to voice the TRUTH!
    When our 12 year old learned the truth about Santa at age 9, she was absolutely crushed and in tears all day that day. My husband and I looked at each other and said, “Enough!” We realized how wrong we had been. We had been convicted for some time, but decided that was the end of the road lying to our children. We’ve told the four year old from the beginning the truth.
    A lady in the hair salon asked him in January did Santa bring him lots of good things for Christmas and he told her, “Now you know that all our gifts come from Jesus. Jesus gave me lots of good things.”
    The lady looked at me like I had two heads!

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    1. I don’t feel like I had any courage at all….in the face of the kids in my class. I totally cowered under the pressure. But had I told the children that there’s no bunny, I really think a few parents would have been upset about it. Some parents would have said, “Oh, well. They had to learn some time.” I really didn’t appreciate it coming up during our class time because it I felt like it made Jesus into just another story about Easter.

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  3. Really, I agree with you.

    These things are a distraction from the true meaning. And it is discouraging that parents would get mad at you in church for telling the truth.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this–I knew where you were coming from.

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    1. I know you get it. I just didn’t want to leave the impression that my feelings are just about the bunny. What bothers me is meeting a child who gets all bunny and all santa, but not enough Jesus.

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  4. I’ve never commented on here- but I feel the beef should be more with the parents than the bunny. It seems the parents are the ones not treating this situation correctly.
    We always did our baskets in the afternoon after the kids got home from church, they never had a problem with it. So the real reason of Easter comes first and candy is an afterthought.
    We also taught our kids that different people have different traditions with Santa, Easter Bunny, tooth fairy and whatever their ideas on those subjects is not really a topic of conversation with other kids. Certainly not arguable.
    I know the frustration of people not taking their faith or the discipleship of their children seriously (my husband pastored 5 yrs and I ministered in the church for close to 10 yrs.), but it’s not the Bunny’s fault it’s the parents. I know you probably can’t just come out and say that on your blog but I’m just a commenter so I can.

    I found your blog through Tammy- she and I were best friends in high school.

    Hope I didn’t offend anyone, just sharing some thoughts.

    God Bless,
    Christy

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    1. Hey, Christy! Thanks for your comment. Doing baskets in the afternoon sounds like a good idea. Yeah, I probably should not have said anything on my blog.

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      1. I like the afternoon idea too!!! 🙂

        It’s a slippery slope. Just like I don’t let my kids talk to other kids or adults about parenting choices, politics, etc I try to avoid the EB/Santa/Tooth fairy/Harry Potter/etc issue 🙂

        I try to remember to each his own. I think you can have Jesus at the center and enjoy some of those things, in moderation, with discernment. It’s just about where you are and where your comfort level is.

        I appreciate your honesty Leslie, I really do. As I said, its a slippery slope.

        We have to pick what battles we are willing to fight and which hill we want to “die” on so to speak. Sometimes the best evangelism there is, is to love softly, kindly and let our personal arguements on the non-essentials go.

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        1. And I forgot to include I’m GLAD you put it on the blog. I agree with you on the whole thing and it will be a hot button issue. It always is…..

          Just keep your chin high….

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  5. Glad you put your thoughts on paper and especially for everyone to see. I take it that truth is important to you at a time when postmodern deconstruction literary forms the minds of a new generation. Again, thanks.

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  6. I don’t think we really care about whether or not parents want to tell their kids that Santa, the Easter Bunny, et al. are real. That’s their decision. But the problem I had with it for my kids was telling them that something was true for years and then pulling the rugs out from under them one day when they discover you were lying. Maybe most kids wouldn’t have a hard time dealing with that, but we just didn’t feel right about it.

    The other issue that bothered Leslie is that if you are sharing Jesus and God’s love as truth in Sunday School and then you have to either lie about a fictional character or (possibly) offend a parent, that is an unattractive choice. I want to err on the side of truth, but then at my last review at work my boss told me I was “Too Honest.” 🙂

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  7. Yes, the real sadness to me, too, is that parents don’t use these holidays to minister spirtiually to their children.

    After spending the 40 days of Lent memorizing scripture about Christ’s sacrifice and our very focused Holy Week preparations and family worship, everything was set for Easter to be THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR. Because we’d been waiting. We’d followed his path to the cross and we mourned with his followers and we waited for the dawn.

    And my nine year old told me that he thinks that Easter is even better than Christmas because it’s just all about Jesus. And his death and resurrection are so much better to celebrate than even his birth.

    Mission accomplised.

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      1. We have morning worship without Brian and evening worship/Bible study with Brian. So in the mornings we did Passion Hymns for a Kid’s Heart and a short Lent devotional that shared traditions and object lessons realted to lent (for kids). We also read Isaiah 53 (we ended up memoriaing about three verses and becoming familiar with all of them, a good start for next year) and memorized some single memory verses (four I think) from the Lent devotional.

        Our evening devotions were much simpler than their normal in-depth Bible study and pretty much followed the prohecies and promises about the Messiah in Bible readings, and then we sang some of their new songs again. In Holy Week, we followed what was happening each day, and on Good Friday (which Brian has off), we did readings at 9AM, noon, and 3PM, then attended an evening Good Friday service.

        Our school days also refelcted some of this, particularly in Holy Week. Their copywork, for example, was writing and illustrating a number of their memory verses from Isaiah and some of the Easter story. I found a great Easter lapbook at Currclick, but we did a St Patrick’s day lapbook this year and so I saved that idea for next year, but we did use several other smaller resources for printable games, worksheets, etc. (You know me :^)

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