Christmas Lite

No Contest

No Contest

I think I remember enjoying Easter as a kid. Sort of.

Advantages: The big one was that we had time off from school. We were encouraged to paint and then hunt for eggs, which was like an artistic version of hide and seek. We also got to spend time with extended family, often for the first time since Christmas.

Moreover, it was a weekend of special meals, which meant duck eggs and ham, those meals also meant that our dad would be in a good mood. Oh yeah, and there was so much chocolate that it was like getting a basket of diabetes as a gift.

But really, if I’m honest about it, Easter was basically meh. The whole thing lacked the overall explosive power of Christmas. Sort of a cool, but far less awesome, version of Christmas.

Christmas Lite.

The disadvantages were the flip sides of the advantages. While we got some time off from school, it was only a few days. We got to see the extended family, but for the under-fifteen contingent of that family there was an underlying, yet undeniable, well, here we are again, current to the proceedings. Sometimes it was clear we were just going through the motions. This is in no small part due to the fact that the proceedings were far more church-focused than those of Christmas. And who wants days off only to fill them with mass?

Not me. Not now, not then.

Also, while there were chocolates and hidden eggs, they couldn’t hold a candle to a light-filled pine tree surrounded by dozens of gifts. No matter how hard it tried.

And the powers that be did try to mold Easter into Christmas in ways. We went to the mall to sit on the lap of the Easter Bunny, who not only didn’t have the charm of a fat white elf who smelled of junipers and brought me gifts, but was at times downright terrifying. And as we trudged through the mall faking smiles and elation – mostly aided by a Cadbury Egg buzz – we’d look around at the shop windows decorated with colorful baskets, anthropomorphized rabbits in overalls, chocolate, and hay, and we knew: this is what disappointment feels like.

But at least there was more church to come. Ugh.

Aside from going to a mass with the dubious promise of an extra long sermon from Father Talen, a man who combined a talent for monotony and a failing septuagenarian memory to create torturous sermons even on ordinary days, even the religious aspects of Easter and Christmas clashed badly.

Christmas is the celebration of some gent’s birth and who doesn’t love of a good birthday? It comes at the end of “the holiday season” celebrated by joy, generosity, and cheer, not to mention awesome specials, cartoons, and parades. Easter comes at the end of Lent, which is a “somber religious season marked not by joy and generosity, but by self-denial and suffering. What the hell. Plus, at the end of that gleeful period of no fun comes “The Holy Week.” The Sunday of this week celebrates the resurrection of the gent who was just born on Christmas – like three months before! And even I knew as a kid that for something to be resurrected, it had to die. And in this case, die very badly. On a tree. On Friday. A Friday!

And don’t give me that crap about resurrection being a good thing. Everyone knows that unless we’re talking about leftover pizza, leftover KFC, or Ghostbusters, nothing is better the second time around. Nothing. And that includes life on Earth.

My Jewish comrades dealt with the exact same discrepancy via Hanukkah and Passover.Bummer all around.

Anyway, it’s long been clear to me that Easter needs a major overhaul in order to shake its older brother Christmas. Additionally, it needs a few tweaks in order to accomplish the true goals of a holiday: to make people happy enough to drink with sound excuses and to buy more stuff.

Obviously the rabbit doesn’t have the gravitas to accomplish such goals, so I suggest adding another mascot to the Easter mix. Give the rabbit a friend. A unicorn. A flying goat. Something cool like that. Maybe we in the U.S. could do what the Czechs do and add the aspect of flogging young girls in exchange for alcohol and chocolate. I’m just saying, this would definitely erupt in more office parties as well as add an element of BDSM to the Easter morning egg hunt.

I’d settle for another few days off. And maybe some more Cadbury eggs. Who doesn’t love those things.

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