At twenty-two years of age, I married my high school sweetheart, and a few years later, we welcomed the first of our four children. How we would celebrate Easter with our kids was not a topic we ever discussed. It was assumed by both of us that Easter was, first and foremost, a celebration of Christ’s resurrection. But, it also included the Easter bunny, colored eggs, egg hunts, and chocolate bunnies. We were both raised in Pennsylvania, after all, where the Easter bunny first laid its American roots. Supposedly, German immigrants brought the tradition of the egg-laying hare to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. Over the years, that tradition expanded to include Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies, and additional goodies for children.
My children have long outgrown the Easter bunny, so to debate whether or not to include the bunny in our family Easter celebration is a moot point. But as I read many of the articles about the reasons why Christians choose to include or not include the Easter bunny in their family celebrations, I must admit that I can identify with both sides.
One thing I have always tried to do with my children is to make Jesus Christ the focus of Easter. This week, my children and I will read together from my new book, The Story Travelers Bible. This is a storybook Bible for kids that I was called to write while teaching Sunday School. The Story Travelers Bible follows three modern-day kids as they journey inside the Bible for the adventure of a lifetime. It includes eighty-five fully illustrated Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments.
The chapter our family will be focused on is titled He’s Back (Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-14; Luke 24:1-43; John 20-21). Here is a brief excerpt:
Mary Magdalene runs to find Peter and John. “The tomb is empty!
Jesus isn’t there!” she yells. Peter and John run to the tomb as fast as
they can. John is faster and gets to the tomb first. He peers in through
the doorway and sees the cloths that were wrapped around Jesus’ body.
Then Peter dashes up, huffing and puffing, and pushes past John,
going right into the tomb. He looks at the empty cloths too.
John finally comes all the way into the tomb. “Jesus is alive,” he
As my family celebrates Jesus’ resurrection this weekend, I am mindful that one day my children will grow up, get married, and be faced with the same Easter-bunny dilemma that I am struggling with now. I wonder what they will decide to do with their children. No matter what they decide, we will support them. I just pray that they, also, will continue to make Jesus Christ the focus and true meaning of Easter and not let the bunny seize the holiday.
Tracey Madder began her career in the entertainment industry as a model, actress, and photographer. She has a BA in Communication from the University of Pittsburgh and has also worked in marketing and sales. Tracey is the owner of Super Faith LLC and Bus Stop Bible LLC, companies that create faith-based products for children. She is also the author of a children’s Bible story book and the Super Faith Blog, a Christian blog for families that inspires grown-ups and kids to “Be Super,” promoting character building and virtue.
However, it is the title of stay-at-home mom that Tracey is most proud of. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Tracey has four little monsters of her own. Inspired by her daughter’s bedtime anxieties, Tracey created the Prayer Monsters to help children learn to pray and hand their worries over to God.
Learn more about Tracey, The Story Travelers Bible, and the Prayer Monsters at Tracey’s website, www.traceymadder.com.