Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A 5-year old explains Easter...

When I was growing up, my mother worked very hard to perpetuate the fantasy of "Christmas magic", including Santa and Mrs. Claus, flying reindeer, toymaking elves, the North Pole....We had presents under the tree from Santa (until we were in college); we left milk and cookies out; we listened for a sleigh on the roof. Let's put it this way: Mom treated The Night Before Christmas as if it were a documentary, rather than a fairy tale. So when I grew up and became a mother myself, it surprised me that I never felt like emphasizing the "jolly old St. Nicholas" aspect of the holiday. Of course we read Christmas stories and watched the classic TV shows, but my kids just matter-of-factly assumed and accepted that Santa--and by extension his cousins the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy--were fictional characters. Fast forward to yesterday, when my 5-year old son and I were discussing the meaning of Easter. I gave him a Kindergarten-appropriate version of the Bible events, which seemed to satisfy him. Then he appeared to ponder for a moment, and calmly concluded, "you know, Easter's not about the Easter bunny." Well, I guess that sort of summarizes my point...He wrinkled his forehead in concentration for another second, then triumphantly announced, "the Easter Bunny hides eggs, with love from Jesus' heart!" Oh---kay. If that helps you reconcile a big old chocolate bunny with the resurrection of Christ, then sign me up!

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