Posted by: Ticktock | April 5, 2009

The Easter Paradox

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.

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Responses

  1. Easter is without a doubt a pain in the rear when it comes to Christian holidays. Christmas is easy. In our family it is about family and we can minimize the commercialism and have the holiday revolve around family and food. Easter is a bit more difficult and it is more about having faith in something which is foreign to my kids and therefore it turns into a chocolate fest. Oh well such is life

  2. Great take on Easter. I have a mixed belief household and pointing out the Easter Bunny vs Jesus’s return one being fake but the other real, has always made my holiday fun.

  3. I broke the news of the reality behind Christmas to my kids this way:

    Most people say that Santa Claus isn’t real. Most people will tell you that mom and dad wrap the presents up each year. What I am telling you is this – As soon as you stop believing in Santa Claus then the presents from Santa will stop coming. So if you want to ask me if Santa is real I will tell you the truth, or if you prefer you can tell me that you still believe in Santa and receive twice as many presents this year and next!

    At 8 and 12 they still “believe”. At least they’ve never told me otherwise!

    😉

  4. There is a very very evil part of me that has always wanted to say that-jesus comes back from the dead and hides chocolate in the house dressed in a bunny suit…BUT-As my kids are very literal thinkers-I just can’t do it. I hope that one day they will come to love and appreciate my irreverance. Until then-we celebrate with lots of bubbles and kites and chocoate,and flower seeds..celebrating that we can be outdoors again after a long winter.

  5. What do you mean you didn’t find the eggs? They were there. You just didn’t look hard enough!! I finally took them out when they started smelling up the place.

    Love
    Mom

    • You must have hid them in the pockets of the dresses in my closet!
      [inside joke – move along everyone; nothing to see here]

  6. There is no conflict between belief in both a magic lagomorph and a zombie messiah. In fact the two are intimately related. It is all explained at this url:

    Take the time to understand the Bunny Messiah and and give him the respect he deserves or your pet may suffer the consequences.


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