This year I was presented with a myriad of detailed questions regarding the Easter Bunny and his holiday by my increasingly inquisitive 4-year old son. It made me realize a few things. First of all, the phrase “it’s time to dye the eggs” can be easily misconstrued by little boys who spend the majority of their days plotting superhero wars.
I’ve also realized that my sense of curiosity is obviously very low since I’ve never even wondered about questions as basic as how that bunny gets in the house. Does he hop through a window, pick the lock on the front door or pop up through the shower drain? I have no idea and even as a kid, I don’t remember it ever occurring to me to ask.
When I think about it, the Easter Bunny is a pretty shadowy figure in the realm of holiday personalities. Think about it. We know Santa Claus down to the last button on his faux-fur cherry-colored suit. We know who he’s married to, we know that in
addition to his wife he lives with several small men, we know about his lax shaving habits, his weight issues and the suspiciously rosy hue of his nose. We know his travel methods, how he enters houses (with slight variations for apartment dwellers), and more or less what he does when he gets there.
The Easter Bunny (if that’s even his real name) on the other hand, is cloaked in mystery and intrigue (well, maybe not
intrigue exactly because I’m not really sure that anything that transports itself primarily by bouncing could ever be described as intriguing per se but still, the word is rather apt in certain respects).
We don’t know where he lives, how he journeys to our homes, or even why he comes in the first place. Also, he’s completely inconsistent. Sometimes he wears clothes and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes he hides just the eggs and sometimes the whole basket. He often deals in marshmellowy substances but occasionally he just sticks to chocolate. Sometimes he brings toys and sometimes just candy. David Sedaris’s Easter Bunny brought him cigarettes. In short, the guy’s all over the
According to my cursory research (Wikipedia basically), the whole thing comes from Germany (where else?) and according to tradition, children would build “brightly colored nests” out of caps and bonnets and then place them in secluded areas of their houses for the Easter Bunny to lay eggs in. Because it makes complete sense to build a nest out of hats for a male rabbit to lay eggs in.
How do I explain this perplexing entity to my son? Especially when most of his friends have never even heard of the guy or his strange ways given that he’s not exactly a part of traditional Spanish culture. You do see chocolate bunnies in shop windows but you also see lambs, chicks and other spring animals which makes me think that he’s celebrated more as
just another seasonal animal than as the star of his very own religious holiday.
Maybe I should have just skipped the whole thing altogether… Except that then I wouldn’t have had such a good excuse to
have carrot cake for breakfast. Because whatever faults the Easter Bunny may have, I’m sure he would definitely approve of that!