Friday, April 3, 2009

Jesus, Santa, and the Easter Bunny

Earlier this week one of my wife's co-workers asked us, "Does Joy still believe in Santa and the Easter Bunny? I thought my daughter [8 like Joy] didn't anymore but yesterday she said we've got to take her Easter basket on our trip so the Bunny can make his deliveries."

I said: "As long as we keep putting crap out for Joy to wake up and find, she's gonna believe."

Co-worker: "Yeah, she'll be like 'This doesn't make sense, but crap keeps showing up...oh well.'"

Me: "She's too smart for her own good. Probably keep "believing" at fourteen to get more crap."

Co-worker: "But should I tell my daughter the truth? I don't want her to find out on the streets."

Me: "At least not at the same time she finds out about drugs and hookers."

Co-worker: "What?!"

Me: "Nothing. She's eight...no harm no foul I suppose. Childhood innocence is disappearing fast enough as it is. I say let them hold on to the Bunny for at least another year.

So I got to thinking about the Easter Bunny which naturally lead me to thinking about Jesus and Santa Claus. Easter, after all, is about Jesus and who doesn't think of Santa when they think of the Easter Bunny. Which got me thinking how timing is everything because here we have two men that we're pretty sure existed [Jesus and Saint Nicholas] who were both generous and both had a follower named Peter [a disciple for Jesus, a black slave boy for St. Nick...not kidding] and they might have both been a little racist [see my last post for Jesus' racist leanings and as for St. Nick, well, I think the black slave boy thing speaks for itself].

The legend of these two men still exist today but one of them has a major world religion in his name while the other has really just one day attributed to him, which is coincidentally the day we celebrate the birth of the one with the world religion in his name. Both men went from humble beginnings to world-wide recognition and worship. But timing, apparently, is everything, and we have Christianity instead of a major world religion based on Santa Claus [But could you imagine it? No...really! A Santa Claus religion. Would we worship in giant toy shops or igloos? Would Santa Claus Is Coming To Town be a standard hymn? Would the reindeer be his disciples? The possibilities are endless]. 

What's the point here? Religion truly is an invention of man, and time and context play a major role. Just ask the makers any mp3 player before the ipod, or the builders of social websites before MySpace, or the clearly-ahead-of-their-time geniuses behind this shirt:


Wonder-Rachel said...

dammit I still haven't had a chance to watch that last WWJD post! Now I want to even more. It's funny because I actually always think about Santa when I think about the Easter Bunny! I have a lot of trouble celebrating these two holidays since I left religion behind. HUGE can of worms I'll leave shut. But I get the comparison totally! :)

Anyway... we still haven't told our 10 year old anything about Santa or the Easter Bunny. I do homeschool so who knows what crazy facts he's missed learning about on the playground by now... but still, I think he kind of knows but won't ask because he's afraid if he asks and we fess up the flow of crap will stop... I mean, I don't know that he's really consciously thought that out, but I think that's part of what goes on in the denial of any kid coming of age and figuring this stuff out.

I of course was too outspoken (read: diarrhea of the mouth) to get to that realization on any level. When I was 5 I confronted my mom moments after a never-tell-a-lie lecture from her and asked if she & Dad were Santa. Ha! Got them there didn't I? Luckily we had a baby sister so the crap didn't stop. lol

I agree, let her come to you with her realizations or questions. If she asks why you didn't tell her, you say it's a fantasy all parents let their children believe in as long as they want to because it's magical and fun. LOL (shrug) - I just made that up, I have NO idea what I'll tell Dante if he asks me why I lied to him! hehehe

Gotta love the holidays. :)

Oh btw: Still Snowing! Seriously!