Diana expressed that the most vivid memory she has of her youth took place when she was four years old. The Saturday night before Easter Sunday she was really excited for the events to come. She was unaware at that moment that her mother had spent days hiding items around the house that she said the Easter bunny had brought. Her mother went to great extremes to make the items very varied. For instance, she hid popcorn bunnies in her shoes, candied eggs in every nook and cranny, and fun little items all over the house. On Easter Sunday she would give all the children prettily decorated baskets for all the items they found. She made it so credible that the Easter bunny had really visited the Smiths house. For years, Diana believed that this was in fact true. Apparently her mother stayed up really late in the night to hide everything and had to document where she placed all the edibles, in case the children were not able to find them all.
Diana has continued this tradition for her children and her grandchildren for as long as they will continue to believe it as Diana believes that fantasy is a necessary part to life.
I agree with Diana about how crucial fantasy is during childhood. Although at some point there is a time when children need to grow up, there is no need to dampen their imagination and hasten their maturation when they are young. Every child develops at different times but it is important to have a time in life when ones imagination is allowed to run wild. By spoiling the excitement of the Easter Bunny at a young age wont assist with ones development in the future. It will only serve to constrain their imagination at a time when it is essential to be active and vibrant.
Obviously not all people celebrate Easter and as a result not everyone has a period of their childhood where they believe in the existence of the Easter Bunny. However this same concept of imagination and creation can be comparable with children who have imaginary friends. Having an imaginary friend would be unhealthy if it continues past a certain stage later in life but it is deemed acceptable when one is young. Imagination has become such an indispensable fixture in childhood that there are not only religious beings that are said to be existent (such as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny) but secular beings too (such as the tooth fairy). Imaginary creatures stimulate a sense of excitement that will only last for such a minimal period of time in ones life and as a result this time period should not be hindered but instead promoted and encouraged.
For more information read the chapter about Easter in the Modern time (the Easter Bunny will be featured).
Bradshaw, Paul F. Passover and Easter : Origin and History to Modern Times. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame P, 1999.