Saturday, April 23, 2011

Kids And Having A Rational Easter

Foil wrapped chocolate Easter BunniesImage via WikipediaAre you concerned about the blatant commercialism of Easter? In stores I have noticed that right after our last commercialized holiday of Valentines Day out came the Easter candy and decorations. This concerns me from the view point of children. Even though we send our daughter to a Christian school she still asks about the existence of the Easter Bunny. "Is the Easter bunny real Dad?" she asks me. I see that she has her doubts so I finally let her know there is no Easter bunny. It's quite easy to discredit the notion of an Easter bunny traveling the world distributing Easter baskets to all little children. I bring up the fact the Easter bunny has no way to manufacture or purchase so many Easter baskets. He has no known way of traveling the world to deliver them. And finally has no opposing thumb to even hold a Easter basket. She accepts the explanation, happily.

It's easy for my daughter to accept the misguided Easter bunny story as just a way to get parents to buy candy gifts for their children. I still am not ready to discredit her belief in Santa Claus,yet. I'll be working on that eventually. But I am sure she will figure that one out on her own, I hope.

We have these wonderful religious holidays and they get so cluttered up with the commercialism aspect. We as adults, have the capacity to distinguish the the real from the false. Yet the children don't. It's our job as parents to guide them through this maze of misinformation. On one hand they are not able to comprehend the holidays true meaning but can easily understand the holiday's false meaning. As parents we love to see the child enjoy the false meaning, for the short time as they are growing up. But the day comes when it's time to burst that bubble.

Where is the line of raising your kids to value our religious holidays for their true meaning versus their commercialize meaning? Who do we blame for all this false direction. Maybe we blame the companies who make all this high priced chocolate and candy. What about the stores who sell the candy and decorations. I don't see it as their fault because they are just wanting to take your money for providing a product that you demand.

The answer lies somewhere in the middle. Why is it the chocolate Easter egg or hollow chocolate bunny tastes better during Easter time? It's made of the same ingredients you can have in any Hersey bar all year round. I believe it's all about the experience. As parents we can use the Easter basket traditions as a way to teach our children about the experience of gift giving and gift receiving. There is a certain sense of enjoyment by the receiver of said gift and the good feeling of giving by the giver.

So it's not all about the chocolate after all, and although you may be paying twice the price, many would argue it's a price worth paying. In the years the children are aware of the bunny aspect of Easter we teach our children about giving and receiving. When they grow up we use that lesson to explain the true meaning of Easter. That one person gave his life so that all people could receive eternal life.

Giving and receiving is a foundation of any altruistic society. I think of our society as such. So passing on these traits, to our children, is of utmost importance. Have a Happy and Rational Easter.

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