Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We’re Planning To Murder The Easter Bunny

The modern day attempt to remove Christ from Christmas has largely succeeded due to the ‘logic’ of the story of St. Nicholas. You can almost make sense of it all. A kindly man, loves children, celebrates the birth of the Messiah by giving gifts to children. After all, Jesus himself said “Let the little children come to me.”

The whole thing falls apart of course when you have to explain three giant leaps in the religion of Santa:

He is somehow still alive and lives in one of the most inhospitable places on the earth.

He has an army of elves that somehow have the money and resources to build toys and gifts for more than 5 billion people.

He has a sleigh and a gift bag that will hold all those gifts, 8 reindeer (9 if you are of the denomination that believes in Rudolf) that can not only fly, but support the weight of all those gifts AND fly at an amazing speed to get Santa to all the homes in the world.

When children reach the age of understanding, and either figure out Santa is not real or the parents get around to telling them, at least one can fall back on this: St. Nicholas was a real person, he followed Christ, and he celebrated his birth with gifts to others, and today that tradition of giving gifts continues as we mark the birth of the Savior.

Easter on the other hand is out of control.

The Easter Bunny is supposed to visit our homes, bring a basket of candy and gifts for each child and hide eggs for the kids to hunt. I hope he at least wears a cross around his neck while doing all this. I’m sure there are stories out there that somehow, in someway, can connect this rabbit to the crucifixion and resurrection, but I haven’t heard them.

So he’s a giant rabbit that walks on his hind legs, and somehow has been gifted with an opposable thumb on his paw allowing his to carry and handle things. He has no elves that I’m aware of, so I guess by himself he manufactures vast amounts of candy and gifts. No one knows where he lives, but goofball logic would assume he lives in the South Pole, right? Either there or perhaps Keokuk Iowa. He somehow carries billions of Easter baskets and eggs- perhaps in his mouth? And when children reach the age where the logic of the Easter Bunny’s existence can not be sustained, we tell them what? How do we connect Mr. Rabbit to Jesus?

Perhaps there was a rabbit that was to be served for the last supper, but it was decided to spare him and instead eat bread and wine. And today, that rabbit is so thankful that he travels the world giving baskets of …I give up.

Michelle and I have always enjoyed keeping Santa Clause alive with our young kids, though the two eldest have moved on. We are sure to focus the majority of our energy on the true meaning of Christmas. As for Easter, we have fallen into the trap and half-heartedly kept Mr. Rabbit alive too, though we keep mentions of him to a strict minimum.

We are ready for him to die. It’s just too hard to have the story of the Easter bunny co-exist with the real meaning of Easter. The Easter Bunny is like a giant furry sponge that soaks up the glory of the day, whereas at least Santa provides an example that allows an easy transition to the real Christmas story.

We haven’t decided 100% yet, but I think Michelle and I will be knocking off the bunny this year. I’ve got my BB gun ready.

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