God

GOD: the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe

Easter is a tricky holiday for me.  For my children – ages 2 and 5 – the wonder of the resurrection is easily overshadowed by egg hunting and humongous chocolate bunnies.  I’m trying not to read too much into that.

The truth is I struggle with how to present religious holidays.  I want to embrace the “wonder” and “magic” of the holidays for my kids and let them partake in the festivities (stockings, egg hunts, etc).  But, the secular versions of Christmas and Easter require lying to my children. 

The fact that Son and Daughter believe a jolly man flies around the globe with reindeer or that a rabbit can carry baskets full of candy into their living room is sweet and appropriately childlike.  However, I worry that letting them believe these lies will impact how they view the things I tell them about God.  After all, the things I’m telling them about Santa and the Easter Bunny are the same things I’ll teach them about God…omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. 

One day, I’ll teach them the Apostle’s Creed.  But, right now they are more familiar with the lyrics to “Here Comes Peter Cottontail.”    

Am I doing this right?  I’m not sure.  But I’m doing the best I know how.

Older “G” post you may have missed: Glamorous

 

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10 thoughts on “God

  1. I’m sitting in the same boat, reminding myself that I was raised with those iconic characters and they did not diminish my growing faith in Christ. I grew out of picturebook stories and into mature faith. I trust that my children will too. But it does not lessen the anxiety I feel each holiday.

  2. I also empathize with you on this one. I just finished a book (fiction) that addressed this topic, actually. The adult character recalls being told, at 10 years-old, that Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy didn’t exist. He remembers being relieved, because for a few years by then he had been uncomfortable with the idea of a physical being sneaking into his house–and into his room–without detection. But he said it never shook his faith in God. Where his mother could prove that the others didn’t exist–because she herself put the presents under the tree and took the tooth from the pillow, etc–no one could prove to him that God wasn’t real. People could tell him that they didn’t believe in God, but they could never prove that He didn’t exist. It’s fiction, of course, but I still thought that was an interesting way of distinguishing the concepts in a child’s mind.

    1. That’s funny that you talk about the discomfort with the idea of a sneaky visitor. Today Son said he was going to post signs next year telling the Easter Bunny that he could visit the living room and dining room, but needed to stay out of his bedroom.

  3. We really debated about the same things, but in the end both Santa and the Easter Bunny visit our home. It is just plain fun! We spend a lot of time leading up to holidays using resurrection eggs for Easter and a magnetic advent calendar for Christmas to share what the Bible tells us about the life of Christ and how it applies to our lives. (Let me know if you are interested and I can send the links) I personally think if we put Christ at the forefront of “His” holidays, model what a vibrant relationship looks like with the Lord and guide our kids in that (with a whole lot of dependence on Him to work in their hearts) we don’t need to sweat this one. Though I did stress over it for a couple years!

  4. We’ve always made sure the kids know the real meaning of the holidays and that the gifts and the eggs are just fun that goes along for the ride. My mom always told us that Santa was a kind and loving man who wanted to give gifts like the wise men brought gifts to the baby Jesus. He did this in the spirit of Christmas – loving and caring for others as Christ commanded. I believe that children of this generation have a natural spirituality that comes more easily than mine and others my age did. All they need are parents and leaders who will teach them the basics and pray for them and the kids will take it from there. They will learn most about what a relationship with Christ is by watching those who have one.

  5. Interesting post. It inspires a lot of thoughts for me. One is that I didn’t grow up believing in any of the holiday characters, so maybe I feel less pressure to include them for my children. However, unlike my parents, I don’t insist they’re evil & distract from the true meaning of whatever holiday, either (sadly, there are no purely Christian holidays, so while we’re celebrating something Christian, a lot of other people aren’t). So we don’t go out of our way to include the holiday characters, but we don’t demonize them either. The almost-3-yr-old loves to see them around, & we just tell her that it’s pretend. She’s cool with it.

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