santa and the easter bunny

Kristin - posted on 02/17/2011 ( 9 moms have responded )

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what are your thoughts and what are you doing?
do you let your children believe in santa and the easter bunny?

my son is my first child and i would prefer that he does not believe in santa or the easter bunny.
i want him to know the reasons for the hollidays and not get caught up in these mythical things and take focus away from what it's really about.
my husband wants him to believe in them because he says that's what the magic of the hollidays are to kids and they will learn in time.

my husbands children, 12 and 8, both grew up with these things. they didn't even know the reason for christmas or easter until i came into the picture. i got them into church and teach them about the hollidays, but i am not allowed to inform them that there is no santa claus or easter bunny. (not so much with the 12 year old but mainly with the 8 year old)

what are you thoughts? what are you doing with your children?

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Sarah - posted on 03/04/2011

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I think you can do both. My daughter will grow up believeing in Santa and the Easter Bunny but she will also know the religious aspect of the holidays.

Jessica - posted on 03/04/2011

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We had this same discussion as we have a 1 year old and 3 year old. We were both raised with the Easter Bunny and Santa though, and can't really imagine not doing it. The benefit is the 'believing' aspect, in that the kids believe in something they cannot see or really understand (how do they get to everyone in one night!?). This can highlight that we believe somethings by faith, no apologist has been able to fully explain the mystery of the trinity, but we believe it as part of our faith. We focus more on Jesus' birth and resurrection on those holidays though, and I think that is the important thing to focus on overall. We also use the time to talk about st. nicholas, the actual saint at Christmas, and about forgiveness at Easter (mind you, they are only 3 and 1, lol, so theology is bare minimum still) and we plan to introduce new traditions each year as they get older, Catholic traditions (divine mercy chaplet after dinner through Lent, reading books about saints and Jesus, etc.).
Sorry for rambling =)

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Nicole - posted on 10/10/2011

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This can be complicated. In my household, I'm the only one who strives to convey the true meaning of Christmas and Easter (my husband is a lapsed Catholic, my family is not Catholic/religious, and his family does not practice). So I am bombarded by Santa this and Easter bunny that all the time. Mainly I don't make a fuss and let them have their fun and then I make sure to remind them what it's all about. We prepare ourselves through Advent and Lent for both occasions. I tell the story of St. Nicholas. We do plenty of "religious" activities that are age-appropriate. I refrain from saying anything about Santa or the Easter bunny directly. Except I do read a Santa book where he kneels by the church's nativity scene at the end of his night. My kids get excited about Santa and the Easter bunny, and that's ok, because I know they understand why we celebrate as Catholics. It's the greed that is most difficult to "control." Greed in my mind - excitement in theirs. ;)

My kids are 6, 4, and 2 (one on the way, a holiday baby).

Lisa - posted on 09/09/2011

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We do Santa; however, we also make sure to put emphasis on other aspects. Last year, my then 2yo was more excited about "Baby Jesus's Birthday" than Santa. He was also thrilled when we let him help pick out our charity gift and he actually seemed to understand who and what it was for. My husband, who is not religious, does his part to emphasize family and charity over gifts. It also helps that we agreed that there will only be one moderately priced Santa gift per child, so Santa will never be the center of attention like he was when both of us were growing up. I am looking forward to explaining it to my second this year and hope she will understand like my son did last year!

Easter...I'm not quite ready to try to explain it yet, but my son has become interested in the Station of the Cross we sit next to at Mass so I need to figure it out fast! As long as everyone understands the real meaning there will be an Easter Bunny. (Partially because I don't want to explain why other kids have one...)

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I do an easter basket and egg hunt. I don't talk about an easter bunny, don't really see the point. I grew up with the easter bunny as well as going to church that sunday. We would observe Lent as well, so the easter bunny ended up just being a fun thing to do.

We do Santa. I love the pictures. If my daughter ever questions Santa I'll tell her the truth. I knew about Santa and St. Nicholas. We also celebrated Advent, which taught us about the season.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/11/2011

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We "do" Santa and the Easter Bunny. When my 9 year old started asking me if Santa was real, I told him the story of St. Nick. Then told him if he ruined it for his sisters St. Nick would NOT bring him anything ever again! We MAKE sure that the kids know the real reason for all the holidays, since all are church based. "Santa came to visit my brothers and I until...... well if you are at our parents house he still does. ;)

Kelly - posted on 02/23/2011

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i have 7 children oldest is 20 youngest are 2 yr old twins = i've done the santa/easter bunny route, along with the religious aspect....we do the advent calendar, nativity etc...a dear family friend of my Granny's was a Sister, who i clearly remember teaching all of us grandchildren the religious reasons for the holidays, yet still getting as excited as the rest of us kids for the easter bunny and santa to arrive.....her brother who happened to be a Priest also 'played' santa one year for us kids....i figure if those 2 were ok with it...then i could do the same for my kids...

Michelle - posted on 02/23/2011

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I have a 3, 2, and 2 month old. What we've been doing is letting them do the whole santa/ easter bunny thing. But we are very careful to keep the focus where it needs to be. My church makes it a bit easier to keep the focus because at one of the masses on Christmas eve Santa stops by and kneels to the baby Jesus in the nativity. Stuff like that kind of lets them have the santa experience and lets them know what's really important. We also celebrate St. Nicks day on Dec 6. They don't really get the easter bunny thing right now. We'll have to see if they even care about that this year. They get the egg coloring (and there is the wonderful account of St. Mary Magdalene and the red egg to make important connections there). There's no need to take the fun out of it for them. They can have the fun without taking away from the focus of the season. It's tough. My husband and I have had a few discussions on it. It finally came down to as long as they are getting the real focus and meaning, things like santa are okay.

Desiree - posted on 02/21/2011

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Both my kids know that Santa died a long time ago and his name was ST Nicolas, but they still love to put out cookies and milk, they know that their father will have them but it;s the magic of the season. The same with easter they know the easter bunny doesn't exsist but the fun is still there. Why should we take the magic out of seasons in a world where the life is so difficult. Let the children be young for as long as they can.

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