Just the other day I put out an update on Twitter inviting people to an Easter Egg hunt. Apparently this took a few followers off guard and I immediately got a response to the gist of “you don’t do Santa, but do Eggs. I’m confused.” Over the course of a few days others have amplified their concern that we might be living a contradiction. So let me clarify.
First. Santa is not bad. We watch Santa movies at Chistmas with everyone else. We just don’t teach our children that he is real. So we aren’t Santa haters, we just aren’t Santa believers. I don’t think my kids will miss Jesus in the midst of this because we are believers in Jesus and He is a big deal in our house year round. In fact we are always looking for ways to share with others about him.
Easter is a bit different. I don’t know many children whose parents teach them the Easter bunny is real in the same sense that they teach about Santa. I don’t think any one is trying to teach our kids about fertility by hosting an egg hunt. It is just fun to hide something and go look for it. I don’t think the real resurrection message is threatened by hunting for Easter Eggs.
Again we teach about Jesus every day in my house. I read a bible to my daughter because she can’t quite read herself. We discuss the things she sees (on a 4-year-old level) through the filter of God’s love for people. She goes to bed every night singing praise songs. I model prayer for her at least once a day sometimes more. She prays 4-year-old prayers on her own.
I’m not worried that she will miss Jesus for the bunny. I’m more worried that she will miss the real message of the Resurrection because we are at home with family instead of out there with our community telling others about Him! I’m more worried that my kids might perceive me to be more passionate about talking with others about SEC football or the latest movie than I am about Jesus. My real concern isn’t eclipsing Jesus with other holiday fanfare, it’s the other days of the year that concern me the MOST!
So we decided we could hunt Eggs and tell others about Jesus at the same time. An Egg hunt Is a great way to meet parents and children, to develop relationships and share the good news of the Resurrection. So we’ve been praying for weeks for an egg hunt, we passed out invitations to our neighbors, and while she hunts eggs and makes new friends I’m intentionally set up to share the gospel.
In short. We found a way to tell others about the resurection through an Egg hunt.
4 thoughts on “Why we hunt Easter Eggs, but don’t do Santa”
“It’s the glory of God to conceal a matter, the honor of kings to search it out.”. I think He likes playing hide-and-seek with His kids anyway.
Awesome response, Jonathan.
I like what you said about the difference between santa and easter egg hunting. We, also have decided not to do Santa. How can we teach that Jesus is real and Santa is real at the same time. If we lie to our kids about Santa, how will they believe us about Jesus. If we confess with our lips that lying is bad, than what makes Santa ok. It is a lie also. People will justify what they want to be able to do what they want. We also don’t do elf on the shelf either. Because we should not be concerned by what an elf see, but more concerned by what God sees. In our house, you obey because we are the parents and God gave us this authority.
In reference to Easter.. I recently had a friend tell me that the word Easter is from a pagan holiday and the bunny and eggs are also from that pagan holiday. I have not researched it to know for sure. However, we have egg hunted in the past. We played a game of find the eggs and get gifts. I am considering calling it Resurrection Sunday and we will wear our Resurrection clothes. We do not teach the easter bunny. And we do not teach that he left a basket filled with toys or that he layes eggs on Easter. So I love your post and I think more Christians need to take this stand. Too many children I know get caught up in Santa and what he will bring and I have to be good for him or the elf will tell him, verses the only reason we celebrate Christmas is because Jesus came to earth. Als,o we do not do Halloween. It isn’t just innocent fun. We believe children are being esposed to evil that they don’t even reconize and that satan is using this to dull our senses. Thank you for taking a stand. I don’t know that many Christians that feel this way. So it is refreshing Jonathan, that you do. We both have come a long way since college and I like where the Lord has leaded us.
We do not celebrate Easter, and we kind of do Santa. Instead of Easter, we celebrate the Passover and resurrection Sunday. Easter seems very synchrotistic as a Christian holiday, and obviously eggs, and lillies, and bunnies are a big part of the synchrotism. So to eliminate this, I have three options: celebrate it sychrotism and all, try and redeem the holiday (like you propose), or dismiss it. I would like to think that we redeem it in a different way. When they had a pagan festival here in Louisville (not at Eater time), we went down and met people and shared the gospel, we will do the same thing at our local Easter egg hunt, not as a Christian event but as Christian people. All too often, churches host Easter egg hunts with very little gospel intention and Jesus is lost in the egg. Instead of hosting an egg hunt, my family will have a large Passover Seder where we invite all our neighbors. We will share the story of the Passover and how Jesus is the Lamb of God who saves us. We will search for the afikkoman and have a prize for the kids so it is still fun. But most importantly we will talk about sacrifice, saving, atoning, and eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ, our Passover offering. I am not saying it is wrong to have an Easter egg hunt, but I think that all too often Christ is forgotten in it. Ressurection Sunday is more important than Christmas as a Chrisitan holiday and we need to act like it is.
You may ask, why do you not do Easter eggs but do Santa. I do Santa because of the message it presents. I do not portray Santa as real, only something that we pretend. I share the story of Saint Nicholas giving to the poor, and about how God gave us His son. I talk about the many stories in the Bible of giving to others and about how God is the perfect example of this, He gave to us his Son to meet not our temporal needs but our eternal one. Santa can be a good picture of the story of Christmas but certainly should not be the center.