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Monday Q&A | Easter Bunny, Tithing, Blenders, and Bread

Every Monday, I answer a few of the questions that my readers send me. If you have a question you’d like me to answer in a future Q&A post, just leave me a comment here or email me (thefrugalgirl [at] gmail [dot] com) and put Q&A in the subject line. I look forward to hearing from you!

I have been following your blog since your appearance on “The 700 Club” (which was the first time I viewed the show). I love your views and your pictures. Anyway, my question is: I am a Christian who is a bit hesitant to share Easter with the Easter Bunny, the same way I am about sharing Christmas with Santa Claus. I have three children that are still very young, the oldest being 5 years old. I wanted to know your views on the topic and how you reconcile the world’s version of Easter with the real meaning of the season.

Thank you in advance for your response.


note: Because I’m feeling brave (or because I’m a little insane), I’m going to go ahead and tackle this controversial topic. I hope that you, dear readers, take my answer in the way that I intend it, which is as an explanation of what we do, and not a directive about how you should celebrate holidays.

While we do celebrate Christmas and Easter, we’ve never done the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus with our children. This is because we prefer to err very far on the side of caution when it comes to the truth of the things we share with our children. I know not everyone sees this issue the way we do, but we just are not comfortable doing things any other way. This has much less to do with keeping the holidays sacred (Easter and Christmas as holidays weren’t exactly instituted by God himself, after all!), and more with us wanting to make sure our children never doubt the verity of what we say.

So, at Christmas, our kids know that the gifts they receive come from us and other family members, and at Easter, they know that we hide the eggs (we sequester them down in the office, where they wait very impatiently for us to do the hiding!). This hasn’t seemed to dampen their enthusiasm for either of these holidays, and I think our celebrations are full of joy. We do eat Easter bunnies (usually in the form of Peeps!), and we have Santa wrapping paper, so we don’t pretend these holiday icons are non-existent…our children just know they are not real.

Though our kids know why we do what we do, we are trying hard to instill in them a gracious and humble attitude towards families who operate differently than ours, and we teach them not to tell other children that Santa isn’t real.

Regarding the last part of your question, we think that because Easter and Christmas are once a year events, it’s far more important to focus on keeping our lives Christ-centered on a daily basis than it is to focus on ensuring that our holidays have a strong religious emphasis. So, while we do go to church on Good Friday, and we do go to our Christmas Eve service, we place a stronger value on going to church every other Sunday of the year. And while we don’t necessarily read the Christmas story every December, we do read from the Bible each night during our family worship time.

I don’t at all think it’s wrong to come up with ways to incorporate faith into holiday celebrations…it’s just not a large focus of mine, and so I don’t have a lot of creative ideas! You might find Noel Piper’s book about traditions to be helpful, though, as she’s got a lot more to say on the subject than I do. 😉

I read your Q&A on smoothies. My question is what kind of blender do you use? I haven’t had much luck with blenders being able to handle ice or frozen fruit.


I have a fairly basic blender that Cook’s Illustrated recommended. It does chop up frozen fruit just fine (I don’t often use ice in my smoothies), but I can’t really give it a hearty recommendation because the gear on the bottom of the jar is plastic and one prong of it has broken off.

I haven’t decided what blender I’ll buy when the rest of the gears on this one break, so I’m hoping that some of my readers will have a good recommendation for you and for me! I’d like to buy a blender that will last through years of smoothie-making.

I was wondering how you do tithes? Do you tithe on your allowance from husband or only on your earnings?


Because my husband and I are both convicted about tithing, we do tithe on the gross of all of our income. My parents instilled this habit in me early on, so tithing is actually fairly easy for me. I’m sure that if someone looked at our budget over the years, they would have come to the conclusion that we could not afford to give away 10% of our income, but God has been faithful to provide for our needs, and we’ve never gone without, even in very lean times.

I also wanted to add that I don’t have an allowance. Given that I’m better with money than my husband is (he’d say so himself), it would be sort of hilarious if he gave me an allowance! We share most everything here, so all the money that we we earn in this household is our money, regardless of who did the earning (we do each have “fun money”, which is extra money we receive as gifts or earn on the side).

I have wondered, when you say you eat bread for lunch, does your family typically spread something on the bread, like peanut butter, or cheese or do you eat it just as bread?


That depends on who’s eating the bread! We all have different preferences…Zoe loves peanut butter on her bread, Lisey and Sonia are partial to cream cheese and jam, and Joshua loves butter and honey. They all rotate between different options, but no one here is much of a fan of eating sandwich bread plain.

I was wondering if there’s a way to make the monkey bread and pull apart garlic bread with the same recipe. I noticed that they have different recipes for the basic dough, is there a way to make a neutral dough that can be used in both ways?

-Zaheen (she had several questions!)

You could use either dough for either bread, but it probably wouldn’t be ideal. The dough for the monkey bread is sweeter and contains more fat (eggs and butter), which makes the dough softer. This would make your garlic bread a little bit sweet, which might be a little odd.

The sandwich bread dough, which is what I use to make my garlic bread, is not as sweet or soft, which means that your monkey bread wouldn’t be quite as delicious as it would be with the sweet, eggy dough.

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Friday 31st of December 2010

My views on Santa and the Easter Bunny and wanting to be truthful to my children are the same as yours. And my kids love celebrating just the same. My opinion is that kids who know there is no Santa are less likely to tell other kids than kids who have believed it all their lives and just found out the truth. I think those kids may feel like they need to break it to other kids who are still in the dark...

Last year my son who was 3 at the time was asked by an adult something about Santa. Elijah replied "Santa is dead". Thankfully no children were around at the time as I explained that we had taught the children about Saint Nicholas who had lived a long time ago. When my kids asked me if Saint Nicholas had died I told them the truth that he had. This year Elijah has found some tact and now tells people "Santa is really Saint Nicholas" and leaves out the other details. lol....


Tuesday 27th of July 2010

Great post. We don't do Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, but we also choose to celebrate those for their faith-based meaning, since they are so important to our faith rather than the more commercial side. I still don't feel it will deprive my children. And, it's not to say that we don't incorporate our faith into our every day lives. (we also celebrate birthdays even though we love on our children every day...for me it's the same kind of concept. We live our lives full of our faith, but we still want to impress them with the spiritual meanings behind those special days as well). We get tons of grief from family members over not doing santa and the easter bunny, but oh well.

We tithe the same way, and I'm sure people would feel the same way because we've had some lean times. I'm always amazed at the "can't afford to tithe" argument though and I say that we can't afford NOT to. God challenges in Malachi to "test him" and see if he doesn't bless you for giving to him and we've been witness to that time and time again. If you don't see how your money will last, you can either hang on to it and try to make it work, or give it to God and watch as He provides and makes it last...that has been my experience anyway. (obviously responsible management and stewardship is a good thing too!)


Monday 24th of May 2010

Hi I just want to know about spouse is unemployed and my salary can only cover the bills.So,if we tithe, we will go into debt or during the month having to ask family to subsidise us till month-end.We dont live lavishly at all,have paid all our debts(except for the bond & car),keep a proper budget & stick to it.We have not even bought clothes for ourselves nor for our son,bcoz we dont have the cash.Do we still tithe under these circumstances?Deut 28 says that we will loan nations,but we will not borrow and the bible also tells us that God hates debt.And it also tells us that we must always act in a way to bring glory to God, so that people will come to God thru our actions.Please assist.


Saturday 31st of July 2010

I hope I'm not overstepping here. What we always say about tithing is that we can't afford NOT to. God even says in Malachi to test him and see if he doesn't bless you. We have a VERY tight budget. But, our tithe is at the top of the list. 10% plus a little extra offering as well. Not because we can afford to give lavishly, but because we feel it's an important part of honoring God with our finances. And, I am continually amazed at how things happen to make ends meet. We take steps. We make sacrifices sometimes. All of my kiddos things pretty much are second hand--clothes, toys, etc. All of our things that can be are second-hand and I never get new clothes. But, that's okay with us. Tithing is a non-negotiable part of our budget, just like our bills. And, God has never let us down. Once, when things were particularly tight, we got a refund check from our car insurance company saying members had paid more than they had used up in claims so everyone got to split the extra! often does THAT happen?!

We used to tithe on hubby's "bring home" pay, until the beginning of last year when we felt convicted to start tithing on his actual salary--before taxes, etc.--instead, and to add a little extra. Our tithing amount jumped from $100 twice a month to $175 twice a month. We never even missed it, and that's the truth. I'm not saying you won't miss it at all, but I truly believe (and God says) that if you give your money over to Him and trust Him enough to provide for you, He will not let you down.

Good luck to you in deciding what to do.


Wednesday 21st of April 2010

I know this may seem crazy to a lot of people, but in our family we don't celebrate Easter or Christmas in the "traditional" sense. Jesus is celebrated in our lives daily. For Christmas, we don't decorate and we don't give each other gifts. Our children enjoy giving to organizations such a Operation Christmas Child since they realize that they are blessed to be a blessing. For Easter, there is no Easter bunny or eggs either. We don't see any correlation with bunnies and eggs and candy with the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

tonya triplett

Wednesday 21st of April 2010

i got a magicbullet EXPRESS for xmas and it's amazing!!!! i never wanted the magicbullet because it was way too small! the express has an amazing motor! it has so many features it's worth every cent! i can't say enough good things about it! i own a kitchen aid blender (from the previous xmas, so it's still brand new) and it's never been nearly as powerful as the express. i do not know how long they last though, as i did not research them, i got it as a gift.

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