Apr 2, 2010

Easter Bunnies & Other Lies We Tell…

Easter is on Sunday. For 20something’s and adults that means we have to hit the gym because Spring is in full force and Summer is just around the corner. For children it means something much different.

For them they look forward to the Easter bunny hopping up to their door leaving them hidden colored eggs and a basket full of candy. It’s so cute and warm and fuzzy….right?


Why in God’s name do we adults continue to convince the innocent children of the world that a life-size bunny hops around the whole world in one day distributing eggs and candy? When we really think about this, logically it’s bizarre and creepy.

But this is only the start. What about Halloween? We tell kids not to talk to strangers and never to accept a gift or food from someone they don’t know. Yet, on Halloween, we encourage them to dress up in a costume, walk up to a stranger’s front door and tell them its okay to take the food. See a Mixed Message here?

Then there is Christmas…we express to children that they need to keep their doors locked at night and if a “bad guy” or stranger breaks in, then they should call the police. We stress this 364 days of the year, but on Christmas we contradict ourselves. We tell them that it’s completely normal for an oversized, old man, to “magically” come into our house at night, walk around, eat the food and leave presents.

This man knows exactly what to leave because he personally reads letters from every child in the world; while little people, which we explain are magical elves, help him make all the toys. The fact that these elves can even make computers, iPods, DVD’s and all the other electronics is amazing to me. (I think the name elf should be retired and we should start calling them “mini-engineers,” but that’s beside the point.)

The point is that kids believe these illogical bizarre things because we tell them so… Because they think that we adults know what the hell we’re talking about… Because they trust that we are telling them the truth.

So are we exploiting their trust and tricking them?

HELL NO! Kids need to be kids. They need to enjoy, imagine and yes, believe.

What I think we are forgetting is that the kids are not the only ones we are doing it for. The kids are only half the reason. The other half of the reason, why we carry out these traditions and keep the holiday spirit alive, is because we NEED to do it for ourselves. All of it, the “hustle-bustle” in...

shopping, card buying, holiday driving, cooking, baking, egg dying, costume making, gift wrapping, basket stuffing and candy sorting.
Through ALL of those things we feel so compelled to complain about “HAVING” to do, I think there is a piece inside each and every one of us that does it because we actually need to. We struggle to keep these traditions, myths and beliefs alive because we need a reprieve.

We need an excuse to look away from the news headlines. We want to forget about The realities of everyday life plague us, but on holidays we get a break.

health care reform, unemployment, bills, terrorists attacks, counting calories, floods, droughts, earthquakes, crime and politics.

Holidays are different. For most of us we get a day-off from work and although we have let the ideas of bunnies and elves slip through our fingers; we remember the way we felt when we experienced these holidays as children.

  • We remember running our fingers over the smooth surface of a freshly wrapped gift
  • We remember the crunch of Easter grass as we dug for lost jelly beans
  • The smell of Christmas cookies baking in the oven OR
  • The sense of satisfaction after you finished a diplomatic candy trade after a long night of trick-or-treating.

Although we may not believe that Santa is tucked away inside the North Pole, part of us still wants to, because part of us still remembers how wonderful we felt when we did believe… When something magical wasn’t exceptional, but was typical.

If Santa comes down your chimney they why wouldn’t an Easter Bunny hop around your living room and deliver eggs? As a child, it makes perfect sense. As an adult, part of the joy of the holiday is witnessing the power that pure imagination, trust and hope can have.

We are not longer enamored with the legends and the silly myths, but instead, with the opportunity to witness hope, belief and imagination existing all at the same time. As we get older the hard realities of life squash out these pure characteristics of youth and they unfortunately become a scarce resource in our lives. So we look forward to the holidays when we have an “excuse” to act like a kid again.

Whether you have a child, nephew/niece, young cousin or neighbor you can witness this. Notice when they look at Christmas lights wide eyed or when they run around the yard dressed like Superman or Cinderella. Those are the things that make us smile. Those are the reasons why we decide as adults to continue telling these silly “holidays lies” just to carry out the tradition. The sparkle in the eyes of the youth when they whole heartedly believe is the purist form of wonderment.

As we become adults this fades and we find ourselves falling into the routine of life. Days are monotonous and the luster of youth is dulled and the sounds of childhood joy deafened by responsibilities, obligations and reality. But what if we could find that childhood belief and imagination? What if we could apply that enthusiasm to adulthood…?

If we could envision our own career’s and place in the world with the same wistful potential that we used to see the North Pole, the Great Pumpkin, or the Easter Bunny? If we could hope, believe, and imagine the things we could do, the places we may go and the impact we could make… I think we would see that the magic is still there.

I think we need more wonderment in our lives. So take a break and just for one day, let yourself remember how wonderful it was to believe.

If you don’t think that you can see the magic anymore….squint and really try to focus…trust me, it’s there.


“When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable” ~ Walt Disney