• Carly Rae

Crazy Traditions

We, as parents spend our whole lives trying to instill good morals and values in our children, but when Halloween, Christmas, Easter or the Tooth Fairy arrives everything gets thrown out the window as we bribe, lie, steal, and sneak around behind their backs to spoil them.

When December rolls around mothers and fathers from all over the western world drag their smartly dressed children to local malls to find the grey-bearded man in the big red suit. Then we get them to wait in lines for hours to force them to sit on his lap while he virtually says to them, “Tell me what you want for Christmas and I will break into your house while you are asleep, so I can bring it to you, but only if you are good and leave me some cookies and a beer.” Basically, our children are being extorted by an obese intruder with a drinking problem! What kind of mixed message is that?

I grew up in Canada, so Halloween was a very important day. The children prepare a long time in advance for the special night deciding what costume they will wear and what type of container they will collect their candy in. Most families decorate their houses with scary decorations, like skeletons, witches, bats and spider webs. After years of preparing your children for “stranger danger’’ that is all thrown out the window on the eve of Halloween as we send our costume-clad children out to knock on any random person’s door to shout out 'Trick or treat!'

When it comes to Easter, most people totally lose sight of what the day is supposed to be about. Celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus takes a backseat to an animal that is seen in most countries as a pest. Just the very idea that a giant bunny hopping into our house late at night used to terrify my youngest daughter. She worried that there may be a trail of giant-sized rabbit droppings left lying on the floor. But, instead of giant-sized rabbit droppings, the kids are left with oodles of chocolate eggs. It’s ironic because we are always stressing the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast, yet we allow them to gorge on this rich, sugary confection forgetting about all the times we've told them that too much chocolate could ruin their teeth.

And speaking of teeth, have you ever really stopped to contemplate the “Tooth Fairy.” Just the name is strange enough. Can you imagine a fairy flying into your house at night giving money for your old, bloodied, baby teeth lying under your pillow while you are asleep? My daughter asked me if the tooth fairy used her teeth as bricks to build walls for her Tooth fairy house. If only, I thought. As a Primary teacher, I discovered quickly that the Tooth Fairy was sadly every child’s first experience of learning about money. A pulled-out tooth is a hot currency on the kindergarten playground. In some kiddie circles, a lolly can be worth one tooth, and a pack of chips is worth two teeth. Another problem that occurs due to this absurd tradition is inflation. It makes parenting challenging when one child is receiving $8.00 and you’re Tooth Fairy has only given your child $1.00. The mythical creation of the Tooth Fairy has only caused a division between the haves and the have-nots!

The crazy part about all these crazy traditions is that if you don’t participate in them you and your family will be considered crazy.

Now that’s crazy!

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