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The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Valentines Lady!?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
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Okay, every holiday my family, namely my mom, puts mad pressure on me to get ds's picture taken with Santa, and right now the pressure is on for me to take him to get his picture taken with the Easter bunny. When I tell her that we arent doing it, she uses all tactics to get me to do otherwise. Last Christmas, I caved in and spent $60 on pictures with Santa!

I just got off the phone with her and she says that I am cheating ds out of a lot by not getting them done. That I'm bad for not doing it, etc. Last week she found out that she has a tumor on her liver. Today, she said that if she dies that I'm gonna feel bad that I didnt get ds's picture taken, because thats her last wish! She even offered to pay, and even tried to get my sister to go do it. She says that my childhood was better because I believed in Santa, the Easter Bunny, and even a Valentines Lady! (she told me the valentines lady drove a pink cadillac, and wore red barrettes in her hair, and lived in Palm Springs)....

Yeah, so now I feel bad! But I know I shouldnt. There are so many reasons why I dont care to get his pics with these 'characters'. We're not Christian, I hate the mall, and it just goes against what I believe in. But she would never understand the reasons, so I just stay quiet. If I do start to tell her why, she says I'm wierd and that Im depriving ds.

Basically, I'm wondering how all you Mamas out there deal with this. Whether you're in the same situation, or have the same beliefs. How do you tell your kids that there is no Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus, and yet still celebrate the holidays. Or do you still celebrate? Especially for Christmas?

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post #2 of 21
The Valentines lady??????:
post #3 of 21
We just celebrate the fun parts. We use them as an excuse for the whole family to pretend. ds knows we are pretending that the easter bunny is going to come and hide our eggs. The same for santa it is fun to pretend and get a surprise. When he is older we will discus all of the roots of the holidays we celebrate-many christian hoidays have pagan roots ect.
I love holidays and am really excited about tomorrow!!
post #4 of 21
The funny thing is......
We dont so the Easter Bunny or Santa bc we ARE Christian. I just feel they take so much of the focs away from the real meaning of the holiday. And, as was mentioned, so much of it has pagan roots.
I have just put my foot down and stuck to my guns.
Your mother had her chance. Now it is your turn to raise your ds how you see fit. Maybe a compromise is that if she wants to do these things, then SHE can do them for him.. Sned an easter basket, whatever.
Stop apologizing for who you are. You are not your mother, you do not need to raise your kids the way your mother sees fit
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
KareninCT-I posted the same question on another discussion board and it has been looked at a bunch, but with no response! Your ideas are very interesting to me. I think I am going to look into that. Thanks

Deciding how to spend holidays are so different now that I have ds. I never thought I would ever be so thoughtful of all the things I do.

I still wonder what other mamas do, though.

Thanks for the advice so far! It helps to 'hear' other voices.
post #6 of 21
ok but you have to give her some credit for the valentine lady story :LOL :LOL thats very funny!
you dont have to do any of these things if you dont like them there are some nice books on celebrations that give nice ideas on crafts, food, etc. One is Childrens Year for nice seasonal crafts.
post #7 of 21
I agree,The Children's Year is a great book for idea on celebrating the passing of the Year. Also "Families, Festivals and Foods". We celebrate the holidays more with the change of season in mind, throwing in some Christian traditions, some pagan, sort of a hodge podge that has become our family's traditions.
The point is to make it meaningful for your family. I have six children, and not one of them has had their picture taken with Santa or the Easter Bunny...and they are growing up just fine..thank you very much!


peggy
post #8 of 21
I didnt even know you could get your picture taken with the easter bunny! We do it ,but we do it in fun so the kids know we're just having fun with it.I dont tell my kids that santa or the easter bunny is real,and I've never gotten pictures taken.
post #9 of 21
We do Easter and Christmas here... the valentines lady had me rolling! That's pretty clever. I guess your mom wanted every excuse she could find to give you guys gifts.
My DS has had his picture taken w/ santa once....because has was a baby and not scared, and because it was free! Niether of them have had any pictures with the easter bunny. A family friend is the bunny @ the mall, and ds knows it. He thinks she is all the bunnies.... .
When I had a p/t mall job over the holidays it killed me to listen to the kids screaming in fear while the parents shoved the towards a complete stranger for a "happy holiday" picture.
We had this huge debate going on while I was preggo as to if we should pretend that santa and the bunny are real. I went with it bacause its easier : , and I must admit it was really fun to hear the little excited voice this morning! We are sure to leave The bunny carrots for him and his huge family, and we put the eggs in the fridge for him to check (leaving eggs out....eeewwww!). The carrots are gone out of the basket in the am to be replaced by little gifts and the required solid chocolate bunny!
I figure all of our kids will be in therapy because of our collective insane parenting practices anyway....you are the mommie, do what you want! You could tell your kids that santa and the easter bunny are things gramma belives in so *shhhhhh* don't tell her they are pretend!
~Laura
post #10 of 21
Saige - I think having your picture taken with the Easter Bunny is an American thing. We certainly have Santa Claus in our malls but I've never even heard of the Easter Bunny in malls!

My dd is just 13 months so we haven't really had to deal with this yet BUT we did get her pictures taken with Santa Claus. I am Anglican (of the variety that doesn't believe you have to go to church every Sunday to believe) and dh is a non-believer. I don't think you should do anything you don't feel comfortable with and I certainly don't think you should allow your mother to bully you into it

Growing up, I did believe in Santa Claus but always knew that the Easter Bunny was just a pleasant fiction. Christmas was magic to me. I suspect we will end up celebrating Christmas very much the same way my family did - mostly about being with family.
post #11 of 21
well for me, even tho dd is only 10 mos. and this isn't an issue yet, i think it's good to have magical beings in the world - esp. for kids. i mean when they're older there will be plenty of time to live with cold hard facts if they want. but i think young minds and spirits crave the magical and mystical - it's more in line with their experience of reality. so i don't have a prob. w/santa or the easter bunny or tooth fairy - and the valentine lady is a hoot! who knows, maybe by embracing magical beings with our children, we can open ourselves up to the magic in everyday life...
post #12 of 21
in regards to the photos with the holiday characters. I doubt that I will be doing that. Just the idea that we are supposed to teach our child to be stranger conscience and then we expect them to be happy to sit on some living stuffed animal? no thank you. No wonder kids think their stuffed animals come alive when the lights are out.
post #13 of 21
Steph-- I love what you said! That is exactly how I feel-- it really is all so magical for them!
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Yeah, all the suggestions are so helpful! Thanks Mamas!!!
post #15 of 21
The question still remains..where did the valentines lady come from??
post #16 of 21
We haven't done pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny, mainly because they are such a commercial mall trick. What about doing some other type of a holiday kids picture- maybe with seasonal decorations and the kids all dressed up- to please your mom?

Now, if it was available, I would definitely have my kids picture taken with the Valentine Lady, as your mother described her. She sounds very very cool, very creative.
post #17 of 21
The Valentine's Lady sounds a lot like Mary Kay. Except that I think she lived in Dallas.

Anyway, we are Pagen and I love the book Circle Round for ideas for celebrating the seasons. We also "do" Santa and the Easter Bunny because they are fun and my kids enjoy them. We don't get pictures at the mall though; we tried it once and it freaked my kids out. But Santa fills stockings and the Bunny fills baskets. It's just fun.
post #18 of 21
My mom asks for photos with characters, too. If it's cheap or free, I'll indulge my mom in a photo if dd agrees to it. Dd's been interested in masks and costumes, what's real and not real, since Halloween. The E-Bunny and Santa made good lessons. She did sit on Santa's lap, long enough to get a picture and to collect her candy cane and paper antlers.
Dd and I went to a park this weekend with some of dd's friends (all are 3 and under) There was an Easter Bunny there, and if you had a camera you could take your child's picture with it. Dd sat on the bench next to the Easter Bunny, but a healthy 2 feet away. I snapped a couple of photos. I explained to dd that the Easter Bunny was really just a person with a mask, wearing a funny suit. She walked up to it again and tried to see the person inside. (There wasn't a line-everyone was afraid of him!) She told the Easter Bunny (over and over again) that he was just a person in a suit! He just nodded and shrugged.
For Christmas we left cookies and cheese for a Swedish Tomten (as we were at my Swedish IL's house). Santa's just the guy at the mall. Tomten and the grandparents bring toys. She now knows that the Easter Bunny is just some person in a suit. Dd's magical realm is in the woods, where the elves, faeries and trolls live, and the trees and flowers talk. The magical beings in the mall are wearing costumes and just pretending to be magic.
post #19 of 21
I'm kind of torn on this issue,myself. Before I became pregnant dh and I had an argument over Santa. He didn't want to do it, and I did. We weren't even planning on having kids at the time. Afterward it didn't seem so important to me. I thought if it was that important to him we could live without it. I guess I had always loooked forward to doing it because I have such fond memories of believing in Santa Claus myself. I'd also like ds to grow up believing in magic, and able to have faith in things he can't see. I'd like him to believe in the possibilities of faeries, dragons etc. , but I don't want to give in to consumerism. I don't know what to do about Hallowe'en. I absolutely loved that holiday as a child, but I don't want ds eating all that candy. I think it just promotes unhealthy eating habits at a young age, and it's really not safe anymore. I'm expecting that should we decide not to do the Santa thing it will cause friction in our family. Ds has many cousins his age, and I'd hate to think of his spoiling their holidays by telling them Santa isn't real.:
post #20 of 21
we are jewish, so the questions doesn't really apply to us, but we do have some friends who (i think) had a great idea. both parents remember distinctly feeling really sad and betrayed when they discovered their parents had been lying to them for many years about the existence of the Easter Bunny (EB) and Santa Claus (SC). so when it came time to decide what to tell their own son, they were adamant about telling him the truth, but they still wanted him to be able to enjoy EB and SC. so when he was around 3, they had this discussion:
ds: "who is SC?"
parent: "people like to *pretend* that SC is a big, happy wonderful man who brings gifts to children at xmas"
other parent: "would YOU like to pretend that SC brings you gifts at xmas?"
ds: "yes!"
parent: "okay, then we will pretend that SC will bring you presents at xmas"

same deal with the EB. i thought this was brilliant. i could never lie to my kids so blatantly and for so many years. i just don't think that's "fun" at all. (i have a big *thing* about this with my best friend, who wants me not to tell my dd that SC/EB are pretend because her dd might find out from my dd that they are not real....different story entirely).

about the pics & your mom: are you morally opposed to the pics with EB/SC or just don't want to spend the $$$? if it's the $$$, why not suggest your mom take the child, wait in line and pay for the pics if she wants them so badly. would that be okay with you??
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