We run into trouble when we focus on the rituals and customs instead of glorifying God.
"I still believe in Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and true love. Don't even try to tell me different." – Dolly Parton
As parents of young children, we are bombarded with solicited and unsolicited advice. Words of wisdom pour freely from strangers, friends, well-meaning grandmas, church members, books, and online articles. There are pressures and demands on us from what we are feeding our children, what summer camp is best, to whether they are getting too much screen time.
As Christian parents, there are additional tasks and things to consider on top of the basics. And rightly so, as we are raising the next generation of God-fearing men and women. We must direct our children onto the right path so that they will not depart from it when they are older (Proverbs 22:6). Most faithful parents want their children to enjoy an intimate, growing relationship with God, both now and throughout their lives.
Parenting involves making a lot of decisions the best we can daily. However, some days we are doing the best we can just to get the kids dressed, fed, and bathed before we collapse on the bed in total exhaustion. When I first read the title of this article, I laughed out loud. It's, honestly, something I haven't given much thought about.
However, let me preface this question with "as a Christian." As a Christian, is it okay to introduce your children to the Easter Bunny?
Maybe, you are like me and haven't considered the ramifications of the imaginary bunny that hides eggs and leaves a basket of treats on Easter morning. Is there something wrong with the Easter Bunny, you may inquire? Am I a bad parent for pushing the narrative of a fluffy rabbit hiding eggs and baskets full of sugary treats? Is it unchristian of me to have a secular tradition on the day our Lord was resurrected from the tomb? Is the Easter Bunny a pagan no-no?
There's always advice readily available for cultural issues like the Easter Bunny. I personally don't see any problem as my family celebrates Easter with the tradition of the floppy-eared, hopping hare. Truthfully, there is no right or wrong answer to this question, so please don't lose any sleep over it.
Christians can Incorporate Secular Traditions as long as our Focus is on Jesus
There's no getting around the commercialization of holidays in our culture. In America, we've allowed corporations to commercialize all holidays, and we've created a gazillion more unofficial holidays (especially celebrating food). There is no right or wrong way to do holiday traditions.
However, we must learn to separate the secular from the sacred and teach our children the true meaning of Easter and other Christian holidays. Our job is to explain to our children the reason for the season regardless of our holiday traditions. We run into trouble when we focus on the rituals and customs instead of glorifying God.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." God must permeate our lives so that we do all for his praise. We must keep questioning our intent to ensure worship does not become secondary to the holiday's gifts, food, and other traditions.
Worshipping and Celebrating Jesus is an Everyday Act, Not Reserved for Specific Calendar Dates
My sister-in-law recently posted a picture of my niece, Emily, in her Easter bunny costume. Emily was raised in a very devout Christian family that rarely missed a service at their local church. She loved going to church. Emily dressed as the Easter Bunny during Easter, passing out goodies while the young children participated in egg hunts on the lush church lawn. Emily had a passion for holidays, especially Christmas and Easter.
Emily passed away last year and now rejoices every day in the presence of Jesus. She was ready to party every day, and my key takeaway from Emily's life is that every day is a perfect day to celebrate Jesus! We don't need a specific date to roll around on the calendar before we break out the party hats and remember Jesus is the reason for all of our celebrations.
Learning Fact from Fiction
Several close friends told me they don't do Santa, the Easter Bunny, or the tooth fairy because they don't want to lie to their children. And that is a perfectly valid reason. It would certainly make my life easier! Yet again, holiday traditions are a personal preference, and we must respect others' decisions.
Suppose you choose to incorporate the rabbit into your Easter Sunday. In that case, I love the way Steve Russo takes the pressure off of Christian parents on Baptist Press, "It's not necessary to deprive your children of good fiction so long as they understand the difference between fact and fiction. If you are careful and wise in how you incorporate the Easter bunny tradition, it can be fun for you and your children and also provide a great springboard for your family's discussion about why we celebrate Easter."
I'm not sure when I stopped believing in the Easter Bunny or how I even imagined him as a child. I'm pretty sure I thought he was a real bunny like the cute ones in the Cadbury egg commercials. One thing for sure is I always looked forward to waking up on Easter morning to my first clue. Not only did the mysterious bunny hide eggs at my house, but he also hid my basket, and as I grew older, the hunt became harder.
Other Good to Know Things about the Easter Bunny
I started writing this article the same way I usually do with a bit of research, Google-style. I was provided with popcorn-binging entertainment by some of the searches people do regarding the Easter Bunny. I can't believe he is such a controversial subject! Continue reading for some fun and funny facts, or maybe it's fiction about the friendly bunny.
Is the Easter Bunny in the Bible?
No, but neither are cell phones, cars, electricity, and dishwashers. However, as a Christian, I still use all of these things, and I play Easter Bunny when Easter Sunday rolls around.
Is the Easter Bunny an abomination before the Lord?
After the photoshoot with the bunny, my traumatized toddler says a resounding yes! I am pleased to announce we made some progress with Santa pictures this year; however, the jolly old man is not allowed to touch him or smile at him.
Did you know the Easter Bunny has a naughty and nice list similar to Santa?
I honestly had no clue about this one. According to Wikipedia, "The Easter Bunny is a folkloric figure and symbol of Easter, depicted as a rabbit—sometimes dressed in clothes—bringing Easter eggs. Originating among German Lutherans, the "Easter Hare" originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide, similar to the "naughty or nice" list made by Santa Claus."
Did you know that you should leave out carrots for the bunny?
We leave out cookies and milk for Santa, so this only makes sense. But anyone who chooses vegetables over cookies seems a little suspect to me... And hypocritical as the bunny leaves our kids with chocolate and other candies. (Which has parents hiding in the closet with stolen peanut butter eggs from their hyperactive, sugar-fueled children.)
However you and your family do or don't incorporate the bunny this Easter, remember Jesus makes it all possible as you count your blessings! Happy Easter!
Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/AaronAmatjpg
Darcie Fuqua is a Business Analyst, Auburn Grad (War Eagle!), Christian blogger & podcast host, and mental health advocate. She is from the deep south of Alabama, where she currently resides with her husband, two energetic fun-loving boys, and a dog named Charlie. She loves sinking her toes in the sand, cuddling with her boys, and having great conversations over a table of good food. You can read more of her writing on her website www.leightonlane.com and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram. Check out Darcie’s latest project as cohost of Therapy in 10.