My husband told me today that someone at work bid him a happy upcoming holiday weekend and he stared at them blankly for a moment, a bit confused, since St. Patrick’s Day was this past Monday. “I can’t remember Easter ever being in the SAME WEEK as St. Patrick’s Day,” he said to me.
Seriously. I haven’t even put away all my Christmas decorations yet. They’re still lying around the utility room where I do the laundry, ornaments getting twisted in with the whites and showing up in the dryer two-and-a-half months after the tree came down. And for that matter, the stores were all splashed with hearts and cheap stuffed cupid animals and last year’s Valentine’s Day candy surplus inventory before I had taken my holiday wreath off the door. What’s with the Easter Bunny humping poor little St. Patty? What did he do to deserve that?
I have so many issues with holidays, whether they’re stupid-ass, modern made up ones like Administrative Assistants’ Day or based on ancient histories. But as for the marketing portion of my complaints, where in the name of God does all that shit GO when the holiday ends and the schizophrenia dies down? (I feel that way when I go to Garden Ridge. That football-field-sized warehouse of crap has to go SOMEWHERE. It’s mindboggling to imagine those mountains of chintzy, aisle-kiosk comforters in plastic zipper bags lining the already full-to-bursting landfills. I hope at least those get donated to charity, but there’s not much you can do with 6,000 extra little Buddha statues.)
So here we are at Easter. I was raised Catholic, so I get the religious significance of the Easter holiday for those who believe Jesus was the son of God and rose from the dead on that day. But where does the Easter Bunny come in? Maybe the question is not as pressing for non-Christians and the bunny is completely a secular creation, but I haven’t yet done my research. But I’m guessing a lot of Christians who recognize Easter as the Resurrection also do Easter baskets for kids on Easter Sunday (growing up, my family did).
So what if, in said households, the kids ask what the Easter Bunny has to do with Jesus rising from the dead? Holiday marketers may offer an explanation along the lines of, ”Well, kiddies, when Jesus was crucified, there was this little rabbit who hopped around the cross keeping Jesus company in the hour of his death. It was a very good friend to Jesus, and when Jesus’s body was laid in the tomb, the bunny kept hopping by to check on him. Then, God told the bunny that on Easter Sunday He would be taking Jesus home to heaven, and that Jesus really liked hard-boiled eggs, and would the bunny find some and bring them to Jesus so he could eat them to get some energy for his trip to Heaven? And the bunny did, and he brought some candy, too, because the disciples told the bunny that Jesus really liked Peeps, and the bunny just really liked Jesus and wanted to make him happy. Now go tell your Mommy to come to my shop and buy some crap.”
Ditto all that idiocy for Santa Claus. Though I do get the sort-of correlation to the holiday gift-giving and the story of the shepherds bringing gifts to the newborn babe in a manger.
This is why the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday (and it was even before my baby boy was born on that day). The only shit you see in the stores for this holiday is paper plates and beer napkins (and they take up about one shelf) because people just cook out. That’s it. They watch fireworks, salute the flag, eat big fat hot dogs and drink beer. There are maybe two days of TV commercials for the neighborhood department store or local car dealer’s Blowout Fourth Sales, but that’s it. The next day, it’s over, and you won’t find a leftover pack of paper plates anywhere. (Actually, at Garden Ridge they run out like a week BEFORE, which is just a scream considering that they have enough papasan chairs to seat the world.) And my oldest child does not, when we’re at Target, ask me, ”Mom, I know you’re not gonna buy me this toy now, but can I put it on my July Fourth list?”
I don’t know where I’d take the petition, but I AM going to lobby for a one-day combination holiday where every single one (except July 4th and my birthday!) is celebrated together, at once, on one day, with finality. Or would that make the marketing worse? Would it be a retail civil war if they were all fighting for holiday market share from the fruits of one day?
If the Easter Bunny keeps getting the best of poor ‘ol St. Patty, it may come to that anyway.
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