‘The Bunny’ Isn’t Going Anywhere…Ideas For A Christ-Centered Easter

'The Bunny' Isn't Going Anywhere...Ideas For A Christ-Centered Easter | thisgratefulmama.com

Originally posted April 4, 2015

Did anyone notice that the Easter candy arrived in stores at the same time as Valentine’s candy? I know we joke about Christmas in July, but I am not so sure how I feel about Easter in January, even though the hope and joy of a risen Jesus Christ is worth celebrating every day.

What I’m not so sure about is the drawn out bombardment of the Easter bunny, spreading his marketing agenda through children’s cartoons, billboards and aisle end caps – obviously targeting children, parent and grandparents.

Now, I’m no bunny-hater – I grew up celebrating Jesus’ resurrection at church, with a basket of Easter treats at home. ‘The bunny’ hid eggs and treats all over our house (because usually MN Easter is cold and snowy or very wet) and we enjoyed many challenging egg hunts as a family. We dyed eggs. I have fond memories of all aspects of Easter and the childhood wonder that goes with it.

What I struggle with is how to embrace both the bunny and Jesus with a consistent, Christ-centered message. I want Easter to be so much more meaningful to our children than a day celebrating a bunny, hopping from house to house, leaving candy. Until this year, we’ve kind of avoided the issue. Last year our son was 3 and participated in an egg hunt but there had been little talk about the actual bunny.

It has never been our intent to shelter our children from the bunny entirely. Plus, sheltering is not practical, and perhaps not possible. The Easter Bunny is a dug in, popular figure who isn’t going ANYWHERE – the way I see it, the bunny and I are going to have to find a way to co-exist, and I’d rather it benefit our children by pointing them towards Jesus. Easter means so much to me, I long for them to feel the same way – long after the childhood wonder of the bunny has worn off.

When our son learned about Easter at preschool, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Since the preschool is in a church, I was hoping what he learned would be in line with what our family believes. When I picked him up, he had decorated a cute little white bag with a face and ears like a bunny. He was excited to see what the Easter Bunny had left in the bag while they were outside playing.

Uh-oh. We haven’t talked about the Easter bunny yet.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the careful and intentional instruction of his preschool teachers. Inside the bag were 3 small (nut-free!) treats and one easter egg with a heart sticker on the outside.

That egg was empty.

I asked, why is the egg empty? Delighted, he told me what he had learned at school:

It’s empty because Jesus isn’t in there anymore! He’s alive! It has a heart on it because Jesus is in my heart” (let’s talk about how these words make MY heart leap for joy). Then, “Easter isn’t about candy or the Easter ‘rabbit’, Mom, it’s about Jesus“.

By his tone at the end, all that was missing was “Duh“. For now, I’m glad he doesn’t know that term yet.

While we have been talking about Jesus’ death and resurrection for weeks, this is the first time he seemed to be able to verbalize it.  I was amazed to hear him profess how the Easter bunny wasn’t at the heart of Easter. We’ll see how he feels on Sunday after he gets his basket, but for now, this is a good start.

Friday morning, he informed me that if we don’t have a bag or basket to leave out for the ‘rabbit’, he won’t come. He reasoned, “We need to get one. For baby (his sister), too”.  As in, right now. 

SO, off we went to Target so he could pick out two buckets with shovels to use as ‘baskets’ this year.

While I wasn’t sure how to embrace the Easter bunny, I see no harm in using ‘the bunny’ to educate our children about Jesus and the true meaning of Easter. This year, ‘The Easter Bunny’ is giving our son the book, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally Lloyd-Jones in his Easter Basket. We will read the book together as a family devotional every evening after dinner.

Other book ideas for ‘the bunny’ to put in your little one’s Easter baskets include:

Given our son’s new-found understanding of the Easter bunny, I need to get my act together. I spent the past few days, searching for other, free ideas to incorporate into the next couple days, and to plan for in future years.

For a wealth of great Easter ideas, I recommend you pop on over to the Happy Home Fairy – the blog is filled with simple and great free printables and activities. While we won’t be doing all of these activities this year, I pinned a bunch of them on my Easter Pinterest board to use in the future. In particular, I liked:

Other options from other websites to use for Easter baskets or activities include:

What are your best go-to ways to discuss the ‘bunny’ and Jesus at your house?

He is Risen, Indeed! 

Happy Easter!

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One thought on “‘The Bunny’ Isn’t Going Anywhere…Ideas For A Christ-Centered Easter

  1. I, too, have struggled with this. I began studying intensely about this last year. I was highly confused as a parent as our attempt was to teach our children the true meaning of Easter. How could I comfortably allow our children to dye and hunt for eggs when this is NOT what Easter is about. Yes, those things are fun but have nothing to do with OUR God.

    What I found is mind blowing! I urge you to keep seeking God’s word. Search use of worwordsand their meanings. Compare Old Testament to New Testament {remember Jesus came to fulfill the law NOT do away with it.} And continue to ask the Lord to open your eyes, your mind AND heart to see and welcome His truths like never before.

    Heads up, this can be lonely road. Sometimes, you might feel or seem crazy. At times, you want to blame others for the lack of knowledge. And other times, you may fall guilty of overloading people when it is not the time {like myself 😬😫}. As I am still learning, especially when it come to matters as such, God’s timing is always best and wise!

    P.s. I also posted an article or two about “Easter” on the Beautiful in God FB page, if you read them, it just might challenge your thoughts. Have your bible handy!

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