Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here comes Peter Cottontail

Another Easter holiday is upon us and in our household that means another lecture on keeping mum about just who the heck hides those eggs. Thats right: my kids don't believe in the Easter Bunny (while we're at it, they also don't believe in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy either, but thats another discussion for another day). Of course if you asked my children they'd all tell you wonderful stories about the Easter Bunny and how he comes and hides all the eggs for them to find together. Then they'll snicker behind their hands. They know the difference, but they also know just about all their friends believe he is real and are never to spoil that for them. It is not our place to choose where another family places their beliefs. I was speaking to our mortgage broker/new best friend today and she was telling me her son had asked for a skate board for Easter, then changed his mind and said, "I hope the Easter Bunny doesn't bring me that skateboard, I want an ipod now." Excuse me? First of all, asking for Easter gifts? Is this Christmas, have I missed something? Don't get me wrong, I do get my kids a few small things I know they'll enjoy - they usually come in the form of necessary spring and summer apparel like bathing suits and flip flops. Maybe a small toy. Maybe. But an ipod? Geez, even I don't have one of those! Its just one more way this generation is not seeing how you get nothing without working for it. Its easy for them to believe they should receive an expensive item from a mythical figure - they don't have to associate them with actually buying it. But I work hard for my money and I am proud to be able to say my children understand that they have what they have because of it. There is also a religious aspect to Easter that is so often forgotten. How this holiday became about chocolate and eggs I have no idea, but its disappointing to say the least. I grew up going to church in brand new pressed easter dresses, complete with hats and gloves. We had some treats hidden around the house in the morning when we got up but it was hardly the entire point of the day. Now I see how commercial this holiday has gotten, like so many others before it, and it frustrates me. It has become a competition on Easter Sunday when all the kids go out to play: who got the shiniest bike, the best skateboard, the tallest basketball net. Of course we give our children bikes and outdoor play equipment as well, just not in the guise of a gift from the elusive Easter Bunny. We provide for our family, our kids need to see that and learn from example. We put a lot of emphasis on family, having a big dinner together - which usually includes extended family and friends. Its a fun day for us, a day we read the story of how Easter began and spend the day looking forward to Spring with our loved ones. A fresh start, the beginning of a new season and new adventures to come.

Besides, who the heck ever heard of a BUNNY laying EGGS??!!
Thats just silly.


Melanie said...

I totally agree!! Holidays for me are very frustrating. We spend hundreds of dollars on gifts, and once we set it all out I always feel it isn't enough. Why do I always feel like it isn't enough?? And why does Santa and the Easter bunny get to take all the credit?? LOL!
It surprised me when you said none of your kids believe in the fictational Characters that make up most part of holidays.
It actually interests me. If you don't mind me asking, how did that ever happen?? I wouldn't think of telling my kids that the "Bunny" or "Santa" are not real. It breaks my heart to think of the day they don't believe!! Maybe cause I know how disappointed I was myself when I found out at 9 years old.
But it does make alot of sense. And it would be so much less pressure. If you don't have much money, you can explain that to your kids, but how do you explain to them when they "only" get 5 presents from Santa, and their cousins get 10!! Maybe the cousins were actually better behaved that year?? Noooo...they know their cousins better than that!! LOL
This year we cut down on Easter. We spent $160.00 between the 2 kids. I honestly felt that the past years, it has become a 2nd Christmas. And that is not how it was for me growing up. So we cut back, and they were just as happy, and excited as they were last year when they got new bikes plus all the other spring toys and clothes!!
So, if you don't mind me did you tell the kids, and why did you guys decide to tell the truth about the bunny and santa?? I just find it interesting!
Talk Soon!
Melanie xoxo

Michelle said...

Of course I don't mind you asking!
I actually didn't grow up believeing in any of that myself. I bet you didn't know that, and you've known me since I was like 10 or 11! But thats just it, we don't talk about it to other kids, we'd never spoil it for anyone.
We didn't have to tell them they weren't real because we never taught them they were. We always laughed and joked about Santa and all the others and then followed it up with something like, "well of course they're just make believe, mommy and daddy make really good Santas, don't you think?" Stuff like that. They hear it at school and they ask again and we just giggle and tell them its a lot of fun to pretend but of course pretending isn't always real. Besides, when Owen was little if he really thought a fat man in a red suit snuck into our house in the middle of the night he'd have never slept again! And its just how you say, you remember how you felt at 9 when you found out they were pretend, I never wanted them to feel that way. Its one thing if you grew up believing but since I didn't, I really felt that telling them that Santa was real was like telling them the sky was really red and then changing the story years later. I have had people tell me I'm ruining the spirit of Christmas for my kids but I'm here to tell you that I have always loved Christmas and have never felt cheated of anything magical about it even though I knew the truth. And besides, Santa Claus has nothing to do with the real spirit of Christmas :)
That isn't to say we don't have fun with it. We have Santas everywhere and do up wish lists and have even left out cookies...yum! Same with Easter. They all exclaimed, "the Easter Bunny was here!!" but they knew it was me cause they had to wait for me to hide them outside before work today!
Anyway, every family makes their own decisions on how to handle stuff like that, I never judge others and I hope others will grant me the same courtesy. Most do, the few who haven't don't say much after my explanation!

Take care Mel, Happy Easter to your whole family - glad to hear they enjoyed their treats!! (I am going to post some pics later today of our egg hunt...)


Melanie said...

You are SO right when you said I never knew that about you!! I had no idea!
I definately find it interesting, that is for sure! It kind of gives the kids a different appreciation for the things they get, and like you said, Santa isn't really the true meaning of Christmas! It's hard to teach kids that sometimes!
I definately do not frown upon you for this decision you made. In fact, it's the opposite!
Like I said, when I myself, found out the truth, I was so dissapointed, that Christmas was never the same until I had kids of my own!And I remember wondering why parents lie to their kids about something that makes you so happy, only to be let down when you find out the truth!
Michelle, I have to say, that when I read your postings, on your blog, and on Facebook, and when I look at your pictures, and how happy you and your family are, it makes me so happy to know that we were childhood friends. You are such a great mother!
We had a great Easter! The kids were excited! We had turkey, which is usually my favorite part! But it was so warm yesterday, I probably would have rathered a BBQ!!
Good luck in all your renovations, and I look forward to reading your posts, and chuckling to myself!!
Melanie xoxo