There’s nothing crazier than the annual tradition of encapsulating confections in pastel eggs and hiding them about the house in the name of a magical bunny.
Well, there’s also the annual tradition of celebrating a Jewish rabbi who supposedly rose from the dead after being executed by Roman soldiers two thousand years ago. That seems pretty crazy too.
Even crazier, most Christian parents will ask their children to simultaneously believe in a magic lagomorph and a zombie messiah, but they will have no sense of irony about the cultural paradox inherent in the mixed messages. The myth of a mysterious rabbit sneaking into the homes of children for the purpose of hiding eggs once a year is not any more impossible than the Passion, except that one is treated as truth and the other is treated as an acceptable form of deception. There’s a lesson within that paradox that the faithful should consider.
Secular parents are also confronted with a similar paradox. How can we choose the bunny over the messiah when we believe in teaching truth over faith?
My answer? Keep the bunny traditions, but do them with a wink and a nod. Be a transparent trickster and be prepared to tip your hat at any moment. Does it matter whether my daughters prematurely find out that there is no such thing as anthropomorphic magical bunnies? Not really. So, just keep it as a silly holiday and don’t think twice about enjoying the fairytale as a family. The kids can “believe” in the Easter bunny as much as they superficially believe in Tinkerbell and her friends at Pixie Hollow.
My parents used to hide eggs all around my room on the night of Easter eve, but they stopped one year without warning me. I searched every nook and cranny of my bedroom that Easter morning looking for those stupid eggs, and when I finally arrived at the breakfast table, I saw a gift wrapped book. In hind sight, the gift of a book is a great idea, but it really sucked to be denied my usual traditions without any forewarning.
We plan on spending a part of our Easter plowing our garden – celebrating the natural cycle of rebirth that happens every spring. We might also do some spring cleaning to the tunes of Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons: Spring’. Of course, there will also be hidden eggs, chocolate bunnies, and a basket of presents because those traditions are fun.
What traditions will you be enjoying with your kids this year? How do you plan on overcoming the Easter paradox? Please let me know in the comments.