I was a very trusting child. I truly believed in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and of course the Easter Bunny. It was always so exciting to think about these magical gift bearers wandering through our home with gifts and treats.
In about 5th grade, I got into quite a verbal tussle with another student about the importance of believing in these beings. One of the kind Sisters at our Catholic school called my mom, and asked her to have “the talk” with me. The other children in class knew “the awful truth.” For my own dignity, my mother needed to speak with me.
I was stunned. After the initial shock, I realized how generous my parents had been on those special days.
I remember when our youngest found out the truth and questioned me regarding Santa. I was honest. He was very quiet for a moment and then said, “Where did you get the money to buy all that stuff?!” Now I enjoy helping him plan the secret surprises for their daughter.
There is also a sense of awe and wonder around the holidays … whatever faith one believes in. These yearly benchmarks can be special moments of joy and celebration with your loved ones.
Our editor asked for a few ideas about fun stuff to do with the kids. Here’s a couple of my favorites:
- Coloring eggs happens in many homes. If the dyeing, dipping mess portion is not desired, let the children use safe markers and lots of stickers to lure the Easter Bunny to your home. You could also substitute small cupcakes and let the kids decorate with icing, sprinkles, jelly beans, etc.
- How about Mr. Hoppy pancakes? Take your regular pancake, and 2 thin slices of banana, angled at the ends. The bananas become Mr. Hoppy’s ears. Use raisins, chocolate chips or dried fruit for the eyes. A bit of strawberry make a really nice bunny smile, and jelly beans are the best noses.
- For the older kids, treasure maps or a series of clues can lead them to the hidden treasures. Rhyming clues, and brain teasing puzzles can add to the excitement. If you haven’t done a treasure hunt before, here’s the easiest way to do it: Start with the finish line (where the treasure is hidden), and progress backwards with your clues. For instance, if the treasure is in the hall closet, you know where it is, so your clue could be something like, “Hats and coats, there’s many … come and see the plenty.” This clue could be taped under the kitchen table. The hiding place previous to the table, could have a clue that says (one of my mom’s sayings), “Mable, Mable, sweet and able; keep your elbows off the__________.” And so on. Maybe 5 or 6 clues at the most. You don’t want to discourage them.
- Develop a family ritual. Faith based ones are great, as well as things your family only does on that holiday. For instance, maybe you go as a family to carol at Christmas, or take food to a shelter at Thanksgiving, or plant flowers for loved ones who are gone. Children remember these special times. You will enjoy hearing them revel in the memories when they are teenagers and adults.
And yes, they do remember.
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