I am going to write a book called “The Common Mythology of Parenting”. In it, I will lay out what
lies stories we should tell about our holidays so we can all be on the same page.
It’s like this. Saturday night I was lying in bed. I turned to my husband and said, “It doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t hold together!”
He replied*, “Yeah, the nest of hydras should definitely be after the spike trap. Good thinking.”
“What,” warming to my argument “Does the Easter bunny have to do with the Easter eggs? We dye them, then what part does the bunny play? And how do the eggs equal the candy? Does it blow our cover if we put Easter eggs he dyed into the Easter basket? Or should he have to hunt for them? And Grey wants a DS for Easter — someone needs to explain to him that the Easter Bunny works on a more constrained budget than Santa does. And then there’s the confusing fact that “die” and “dye” are homonyms. And how does this all tie in to, you know, the Jesus parts of Easter?”
He carefully mulled my words. “Do you think a party would think to use a chime of opening if they came to a dead end?”
I had never realized how poorly constructed the common mythology of Easter is. I’m all up on the theology of Easter. I can talk until I’m blue in the face about the meaning of Jesus betrayal, death and resurrection. Ask me about the Road to Emmaus or doubting Thomas and I’m good. But give me one good explanation for the Easter Bunny that doesn’t use the words “Pagan fertility ritual” and is appropriate for a three year old sensibility while encompassing candy, Easter eggs and why you’re not getting a DS.
Christmas is much better thought out. Thanks to “The Night Before Christmas” and the Coca-Cola Corporation, we know a lot about Santa — from what he looks like down to the names of his reindeer. There’s a plausible, if weak, connection between Santa and the birth of Christ. “Um, we give each other presents because the Wise Men gave Jesus presents.” Well, ok everything but the Christmas tree holds together. But there’s no good mythology of Easter.
Wouldn’t it be a great service if there was a chapter in our Parenting Manual of commonly agreed upon lies that we should all tell at Easter (and similar holidays)? That way we’d know what not to tell the three year old friends who come over to visit, “Oh, the Easter bunny dyed your eggs for you?” and we wouldn’t have to get quite so creative.
Think about it, publishers. There’s a market out here.
Next up: explaining why you shouldn’t be afraid of fireworks set of to commemorate a bloody war of independence.
*OK, so this conversation didn’t actually happen this way. I’m making up his parts of it entirely. It’s funnier this way, though.