Spring is in full bloom with all of the tell tale signs. The flowers have painted a virtual mural in our town, school children are taking off for spring break, and the annual edition of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue is on the shelves. The days are longer too now that we have sprung forward. Spring is my favorite season, and the crowned jewel of spring is Easter!
Easter carries with it so many wonderful traditions. Remember the simple PAAS egg coloring kits? The smell of vinegar with dye tablets is hard to remove from my memory as we colored eggs. About the only thing fancy that was possible to do with those kits was to use crayons for a unique effect or maybe add stickers. Now there are all sorts of kits that create spectacular effects. I’ve seen golden eggs, speckled eggs, and even tie dyed egg kits in stores this year.
When I was a boy, we hid the eggs that we colored, and we ate them after playing with them all day. There seems to have been a shift, at least in our home. We color the eggs and eat them later, but we hide plastic eggs. The threat of a food borne illness did not seem to bother us back in the 70’s and 80’s.
The Easter Bunny has not changed too much. He still sneaks in and leaves baskets of goodies. My favorites are the Cadbury Crème eggs, Jelly Belly brand jelly beans, and of course the center of it all—the giant chocolate bunny in the center of the basket. There were times when that ol’ Easter Bunny would bring living things too! One time he brought ducks and another year he brought baby bunnies.
My youngest asked me last week why a bunny would be bringing eggs. That is a good question. It seems that the Germans, the same people that gave us the Christmas tree, had a story of an Easter hare that would lay eggs and hide them for children to find. I’ve seen the eggs that a bunny lays and they are far from colorful plus they are typically not hidden very well.
For some boys and girls, these simple symbols are just a representation of Spring. They have never been told about Jesus dying on the cross and rising on Easter Sunday. For them, Easter eggs are just colorful eggs that we hide and later find—nothing more. While this holiday is not as commercial as Christmas, it rings hollow when folks do not know why we are out hunting those eggs. Eggs represent a new birth. I’ve read where they can even represent the boulder in front of Jesus’ tomb.
Don’t fall for that trap. Without Easter, there would be no Christmas. This is Holy Week, and it is a great opportunity for you to have a discussion with a child about the reason why we celebrate Easter and what the gifts truly represent. There is nothing wrong with the Cadbury Bunny, but why not share the Good News along with the good treats? Happy Easter!
Written by Bill Waller. Mr. Waller is a author and contributor local blog, Southwest Georgia Politics. He enjoys writing, traveling, and researching history. He currently resides in Albany, Georgia.