Easter holiday misplaced within modern American culture
March 27, 2008
I’m saying it so it’s official: Easter is the lamest holiday of the year. Though an important and worthy occasion to celebrate for its messianic properties, Easter as an American, commercialized holiday is generally sucky and lacking in originality.
It’s like an awkward combination of Halloween and Christmas: for the kids, a thrilling morning filled with greed and impatience, the mystical resurrection of a well-known bearded messiah, and pant-loads of candy, however unsavory (I’m looking at you, Marshmallow Peeps). But ultimately, the American holiday industry has failed in its sacred duty to transform the Easter celebration into the massive spending extravaganza it deserves to be.
We’ve invented this half-hearted, lazy Easter Bunny mascot that struggles to invent its own traditions. This magical woodland critter breaks into our homes, steals Santa’s stocking stuffer ideas and puts the same damn candy (but now pastel-special!) in a wicker basket filled with green clumps of cellophane armpit hair.
Come up with something original! The Easter Bunny’s only attempt at this has resulted in the invention of the black jelly bean—truly a blight upon the holiday. Furthermore, the rest of the jelly beans are nearly as gross, especially after tumbling around a dusty old basket of neon Oompa Loompa pubes. I’m sorry, but that stuff just does not look like grass to me.
With Christmas, kids receive a veritable cornucopia of demographic information on their holiday hero Santa. We know where he lives, his approximate height and weight, his general appearance, his favorite outfit, his preferred method of gift delivery as well as his romantic entanglements (Mrs. Clause is still workin’ it).
Meanwhile, the Easter Bunny is a reclusive figure shrouded in mystery—an anthropomorphic freak of nature that children are supposed to love.
What does he even look like? Some imagine him as an oddly generous, regularly-sized rabbit that simply possesses magical powers. Others imagine the Easter Bunny as a man-sized, doll-like hare that can be cuddled and conversed with, however creepy that image may be to sane adults. And how does he delivery so many goodies to children across the world? Santa owns a sweet bottomless bag that fixes this problem, but it’s doubtful the Easter Bunny has a similar possession.
With so much confusion about the holiday of Easter, how are children supposed to grow up to be well-adjusted, free-spending American consumers? Thus far, capitalism has failed to fully whore out this holiday.
With a struggling economy and a recession right around the corner, it’s more important now than ever before that we extract from consumers the maximum amount of money per holiday.
This means amping up the Easter Bunny’s charm; make him the Brad Pitt of holiday mascots. Make him irresistibly cute, seemingly real, consistently characterized and WAY more generous. We absolutely need the Easter Bunny to be the most generous character ever. So what if an HDTV won’t fit in an Easter basket? You consumers should still buy a few for your kids, right?
If American industry and its broad following of greedy consumers can change Easter into a time to spend money, perhaps this vague and routinely disappointing holiday can finally re-invent itself as the glorious spending orgy it needs to be. So next Easter, you can all expect my wish list. Please, feel free to spend no more than $500, because that sounds fair, right?
Joe Hager is a student at UW-River Falls.