Friday, March 21, 2008
For those of you who celebrate the occasion, Happy Easter! (Enjoy the lilies!) As a child I usually associated Easter with the purchase of a new suit appropriate for wearing to church on spring Sunday mornings. I remember a few occasions when we received Easter baskets full of marshmallow and chocolate eggs nestled in that fake green grass. (Don't let your cat your dog swallow this stuff or you're in for a treat. The same rule applies for Christmas tinsel.) But the concept of the "Easter Bunny" was never really heralded in our household in the way Santa was given nearly equal status to the religious iconography of Christmas. I guess it's easier to reconcile Santa and the spirit of giving with the symbolism of Christ's birth. Sure, I've heard some apologists try to sell the idea that the eggs of Easter symbolize the potential of rebirth and resurrection. But it just seems like too great a stretch, trying to convince one's kids of the Easter Bunny's existence, even during the innocence of the toddler years. It reminds me of Jimmy Stewart trying to pass off the idea that Harvey, his unseen 6-foot rabbit companion is just as real. We've never mentioned the Easter Bunny to our kids. Naturally they like the idea of receiving candy for the occasion, but for them there's no association between the candy and a bunny. Indeed, having frequently watched the Veggie Tales episode on "The Promise of Easter," I'm confident they realize that Easter isn't about bunnies or chocolate. Moreover, we've done our best to explain the significance of Easter - and Christmas - within their proper religious contexts. Whether they ultimately choose to accept the standard Christian ideals vis-a-vis Easter will be up to them as they formulate a mature belief system and explore their own spirituality.