My Inner Battle With the Easter Bunny and Jolly Saint Nick {Life}

This is an updated post originally from October 2010.

The dilemma of HALLOWEEN, Santa, and Easter Bunnies has been something I have wrestled with personally since I was about 7 years old.  Is it possible to create a cutesy version of Halloween that will mesh with my Faith and belief system. Will I scar my daughter for life by pulling her away from Halloween, Santa, or Easter Bunny events like I was pulled away as a child?

What's the big deal?
I am a BELIEVER, from a family of believers.  My parent's were very conservative and wary of what they deemed to be inappropriate influences.  As soon as Thanksgiving was done, I went to school with a note from my parents asking for me to be exempt from any Halloween festivities and even Christmas parties with Santa.  I loved choir but was pulled from the Christmas pageant performance of Jingle Bell Rock in Grade 4.  I didn't grow up with the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy either.  From time to time I would miss not having the candy or treats with peers, but overall, I wasn't too bothered by missing out.  I was a nerdy kid who loved to go to the Library or Art Center while everyone else got dressed up in their costumes, with itchy face paint, and sweaty masks.  As I got older I did sense that I was given strange looks by some of my peers and even some teachers when exemption time came.  My parents made these holidays special in our own way, without being pressured by the commercialized hoopla.

Not wanting to be considered a snob, by Junior High, I began to consider the consequences of withdrawing from social events.  So I tried participating in a toned down version of Halloween.  I even got to go trick or treating a few years and didn't much enjoy it.  Honestly, I couldn't understand why I would want to knock on a strangers door and ask for candy?  If I can't knock on your door any other day of the year, why would I be comfortable with it on October 31 between the hours of 4 and 8 PM?

So what is this internal dilemma exactly?  
I grew older and mature enough to embrace my own belief system and still didn't like Halloween.  I'm not nearly as conservative as my parents, yet my FAITH and values can't reconcile with the gruesome and macabre nature of Halloween. Even when it is made cutesy, I still can't bring myself to find a justification for this day that I refuse to call a holiday

The Easter Bunny is innocent enough, but distracts from the true reason I celebrate Easter.  As a Teacher I need to respect the beliefs and practices of my students.  They ask for Easter Bunny and Santa crafts and activities so I present the materials to those interested, the rest can choose other activities.  

As a parent I don't want to restrict my daughter's interactions, or enforce boundaries that might rob her of a well-rounded social experience.  I was (and still am) known as the kid that didn't celebrate Halloween or believe in Santa.  I wasn't obnoxious about my dis-belief, yet I still didn't fit into mainstream school culture.   

I bring her to see the fairy tale creatures anyway, and let her choose what she believes.
My daughter was silent through her first two encounters with Santa. The third time was a charm so to speak.  This past Christmas she asked to visit Santa at the mall. We lined up to see him, she sat on his knee, smiled for a photo and asked him to bring a red sleigh and a train for Christmas.  The photo became our family Christmas card for 2012 and she got a red sleigh under the tree with no tag.  Princess Destructo later said "Santa is just a man, but he's nice."

This issue is still a work in progress but I stick to my belief that Holidays are meant to celebrate the GOOD, remember the GREAT, honour HEROES, and for me, to love GOD.

*Opinions expressed in this post are my own and not necessarily shared by my affiliates.


Candace said…
My Dad still insists to me that there is a Santa Claus and I'm 43 :) I don't see the harm in letting kids believe in a little magic. I understand your dilemma though. As a Catholic we are always trying to find the balance between the true reason we celebrate and the "fun" stuff.

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