Before I start... I want to preface this post with this... I am not preaching. I am not suggesting that one way is better than another. I am simply sharing a story and a tradition and what works for us as a family...
In a previous post I mentioned the Spring Bunny... and I'm sure that a lot of you were thinking, "What kind of craziness is this?" Or maybe none of you were thinking that... but I'm going to tell you about it anyway. I'm going to explain the craziness that is my family. You see, we love the crazy. We're good at it.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away called Idaho, there was a family with four young children. These children were, in general, good kids. They did, however, seem a little hard in the head at times. You see, if you asked them to tell you about Easter, you would be inundated with stories of rabbits and plastic eggs and candy of every kind! If you asked for more information you'd get a response about baskets and baby chicks and candy of EVERY KIND! And if you persisted, hoping for some kind of REAL understanding about this holiday, you would hear about coloring eggs and new clothes for Sunday and CANDY OF EVERY KIND!! And if you point blank asked them about how Jesus fit in to the Easter holiday - they would stare blankly and then say, "Oh yeah... I forgot about that part... did you know we will get CANDY FOR EASTER?!"
Now, the parents of this family had tried all sorts of things to get their kids to understand what Easter was really about. They had lessons, talked to the kids, read out of scriptures, minimized what was in those baskets, but, as I mentioned before, the kids were a little hard headed and it just didn't seem to be getting through. Bunnies and chocolates filled their hearts and minds rather than the hope and peace that should be brought by understanding Easter.
And so, the totally awesome mom of this family decided that the Easter Bunny was going to disappear. She replaced him with the Spring Bunny - who came the Saturday after the first day of spring. He still brought eggs and candy, but now the focus could change. Easter could be a holiday to remember the Savior again.
There are those who ask, "Well, what about Santa?? Why didn't you get rid of him too??" Here's the funny thing about those totally weird kids... they got Christmas. They understood that a long time ago, a tiny baby came to this earth. And that He grew up and gave us the ultimate gift! Gifts were given in a spirit of love for one another. Somehow, everything about Christmas pointed this family back to Christ. That's not to say that the family wasn't excited about Santa and the presents... but the real message had somehow sunk in.
Not so with Easter. Somehow, it was really hard to tie in baskets, a large rabbit hopping around hiding plastic eggs, and oodles of candy with the Savior and His sacrifice for us. This new idea worked for us....
And it's a tradition that I carry on. Yes, I was one of the hard headed children (how'd ya guess??) and for some reason Easter was never a religious holiday to me as a kid. I just couldn't connect the two together... We don't do our Spring Bunny stuff right after the first day of spring... we do it the day before Easter. And then, Easter Sunday can have a focus on our Savior... and exactly why we call Him that.