Look, I like the Easter Bunny as much as the next person. Okay, maybe not. The life-size bunny? I'm not so sure. But the chocolate eggs! Oh the chocolate eggs. Holidays are chalk full of childhood memories, family traditions, and, of course, sweets. Just the other day, I was reminiscing about how I loved searching for my Easter basket every year...and how every year either mine or my brother's was hiding in the dryer. But having a kid this year for the holidays feels like a game-changer.
Yes, I want to carry on some fun family traditions with Naomi. I want her to enjoy her Easter basket, wear her big poofy dresses (I'm dying of cuteness overload over here), and remember all the special things we did with her on those days. But there's a part of me that wants to throw it all out the window -- Santa, the Easter Bunny, the gifts on top of gifts on top of gifts. Part of me, in fact, wants Naomi to be the girl in school that tells the other kids that Santa isn't real. Is that mean? Maybe that's mean.
Having children feels like an opportunity to start fresh in a way. It's a chance to throw out all the bad stuff and start new rhythms and traditions and ways of thinking that are more about what they should be about. I have the biggest desire to REALLY make Christmas and Easter about Jesus. And not in a "glue together a popsicle cross and call it good" sort of way. But in a way that makes him the center and everything else a fun surprise on top of something that's already good enough. Because our faith, our God, is a good enough reason to celebrate. It's the only reason to celebrate. The gifts, traditions, and treats are the cherry on top -- ideally a meaningful addition to the central celebration.
I want to raise kids that call B.S. on the Easter bunny. Maybe that's idealistic of me. Maybe that's mean to shatter childhood fantasies about life-size mammals and a magical old man who rides a sleigh in the sky. But maybe, just maybe, our kids would give gifts in reflection of what gift we've already been given. Maybe they would be excited on Easter Sunday because it's a day to celebrate new life, the redeeming of brokenness, and the hope we have in things that outlive us. And the candy, fancy dresses, and traditions would be things that lie in the shadows of what we're really celebrating.
What do you think? How do you keep meaning at the center of your holidays without squashing some of the fun stuff?