Yesterday, I shared my favorite Easter books (without the bunny). In an effort not to send the message that I am a bunny-hater, I am daring to take on the great bunny debate. Perhaps you’ve heard of this debate. It’s the one where we sweet loving Christian moms get all bent out of shape as to whether or not there is a place for the bunny in our celebration of Easter. You might know this debate by it’s better known aliases: the great pumpkin debate or the great Santa debate.
I won’t lie. As a mom, I have spent HOURS and HOURS of my time thinking, researching, and praying about these “great debates.” I’ve considered my own upbringing, that of my husband’s, my friend’s opinions, and those that are floating around the internet. I’ve talked to God at length about what is right for our family.
If you have read this far hoping to find a clear answer to this question, I’m sorry to say that you will be disappointed. I don’t have one.
Personally, I think that our sovereign God chose to allow some things to be this way. Otherwise, we would become pious and lack complete faith. I mean honestly, what would I talk to him about if there was a cut and dry step by step plan for all of life’s questions?
Simply put, there are questions that do not have clear answers. I think many of these issues are the ones that Paul is talking about when he cautions believers against putting up divisions in the church (1 Cor 1:10-17). These are choices that we make that do not determine our salvation and should not cause dissension between us.
I do not mean to imply that in all of my time spent praying, studying, and seeking wise counsel that I have not determined a plan for my family. I have. But the funny thing is that it doesn’t look anything like what I would have expected. And on top of that, I am not willing to stand on a soap box and proclaim it to be the gospel for holiday celebration.
Nevertheless, very cautiously, I will share what I feel God has asked of our family regarding the celebration of holidays.
1. We keep legalism at a distance. It’s sometimes hard to have rules or expectations about a holiday or a certain topic without letting the “rules” become so rigid that no one can have fun. For example, if my 4 year old is running around the grocery store telling people that they will go to hell for worshipping the devil on Halloween, I might need to rethink the message that I am communicating to him. Or, if my daughter comes home with a shamrock art project, I am not going to burn it while screaming “we don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.” After all, just because she made a craft doesn’t mean that we are suddenly celebrating a holiday. Right?
2. We keep commercialism at a distance. As a general rule, I avoid the store with my kids everyday of the year, but if we do happen in, I avoid the holiday section. I find that it creates “needs” that we never had before we walked down that aisle. It creates conversation about things that I am not always ready to tackle. But mostly, it drives us to become so wrapped up in the materialistic part of a holiday, that we miss the whole point. I won’t lie and tell you that this one has been easy for me. It has been a battle for me to remove from my head those “traditions” that I feel make or break a holiday that really just amount to nothing but a materialistic attitude.
3. We have sought out to find more innovative ways to celebrate holidays. As a holiday approaches, I look for ways to bring God into it. Whether it’s a Christian holiday or not. Let face it, unless we are going to live in a hole, the holiday is going to come up. Why not turn it around and make it something lovely? Instead of worrying so much about the horrific origins of “cupid” we put our attention on how to show others the love of Christ.
4. Above all: we love others. You might be thinking that this has nothing to do with celebrating a holiday or not. But it has EVERYTHING to do with it. Whether or not my friends celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Santa, or the Easter Bunny should have no bearing on how I extend love toward them. Our love toward others will spur us on to respect the choices that they have made for their family. For example, we don’t do the Santa thing in our house. However, my children KNOW that it is a fun game that lots of people celebrate and that if we ruin the game for them, that would not be very loving. It’s a topic that I label “for our family only.” I encourage them not to talk about stuff like that with their friends. If their friends have questions, they should talk to their parents. It is my hope that this policy will keep my kids from becoming legalistic and judgmental of their friends. (And hopefully we won’t ruin the fun for others.)
The pivotal point of it all? I’ve learned to relax. To let go of trying to micromanage every single thing that happens around us. I’m reminded of Solomon’s findings.
I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14
This issue of bunnies, Santa and pumpkins is just an earthly thing. Meaningless. I have already spent far too much time focused on that which God sees as meaningless. I’m not going to ruin my kids if they get an Easter basket from a bunny. And I’m not going to ruin them if they don’t. It’s not about the basket. It’s about GOD. How much time did our family spend on Him?
What other people do with the holiday should not be my concern. If I am on my knees before him, the holiday will bring Him glory. Regardless of what the world does with it.
Please share your thoughts about holidays with us. Please remember to respect fellow sisters in Christ with your words. This is a safe place to have opinions. God gave you one…feel free to share it! (I reserve the right to remove any comments that are unkind.)
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