**Please be aware this post represents something going on in my mind. I am not judging you, your family, or how you do things. Smile! Now read on!!! ***
I walked in to the Dollar Store today, needing a few quick items and was bombarded with all the Easter paraphernalia possible. It was the same thing at every stop we made while doing errands. There were chocolate bunnies, eggs, jelly beans, baskets, books, and so on.
My mind started working through the usual. "Another holiday, that doesn't truly represent Christ. What are we going to do? How is our family going to celebrate or not celebrate this? Here come the questions (which are normal) from the boys, get ready."
Each "big" American holiday brings this barrage of issues into my head. Wasn't it just Christmas last week? And Valentines was yesterday, right?
I grew up celebrating all the holidays in a very non christian way. I totally believed in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and so on. As I remember it, it was fun! I loved sitting on Santas lap, with great dreams. And I totally enjoyed collecting jelly beans (a family tradition), searching for our Easter basket, and devouring the chocolate bunny with the sugary eyes.
My predicament lies within my beliefs in Christ. And since neither one of us grew up in the sort of environment that we are raising our children in, we are stuck in finding our own way through the holiday mazes. Things especially changed when we moved away from our families. Its not so easy to travel eight hours one way to sit down for a traditional extended family dinner.
The good thing is, its forcing me to pray and decide just what do we want to do about holidays. What sort of traditions do we want to start? I stare inwardly at myself, challenging my heart, am I being to lenient or too hard? Are we being fanatical or truly honoring the Lord?
It's easy on the big decisions. I don't want to raise my children in believing in a Santa Claus or Easter bunny. I want them to completely honor Jesus. I am solid on that. But its the rest of the details that tend to become a bit more blurry for me. Should I make sweet little baskets up for the kids, because its a fun childhood thing to do? What's the harm in an Easter egg hunt?
While the rest of the world and church tries to justify themselves by coming up with the idea that eggs are representing life and Jesus represents life, etc. Inside, I'm thinking, "c'mon, let's stop stretching the truth and making it work for ourselves. Let's be real." And yet, I've totally taken my child to an egg hunt before. And I love to decorate eggs.
I guess where I am going with this, is I wish I knew just what our holiday traditions included. I wish I was solid in what I knew was right for our family. My oldest will be six in a couple of months. I am ready to have the idea of who we are, what we represent, how we do holidays, for our family. And I don't want to compromise. I'm ready to become more established in our beliefs and what they look like during a holiday.
Feel free to share your thoughts!