I was 7 years old before I'd heard of the Easter Bunny. I remember seeing one of my neighbors on Easter and they were showing me everything in their Easter basket that the Easter Bunny had left them. They asked me what the Easter Bunny had given me. "Nothing," I replied. They were shocked. I told them the Easter Bunny didn't come to my house--that my parents gave me a chocolate bunny to eat.
Our tradition was always to go to church on Easter. We were regular attenders anyway, so Easter was a definite for our family. My mom would get me a new, fancy dress and new shoes for Easter. I always hoped it was warm and sunny on Easter since the Easter dresses were designed for warm weather. After church, we had a big Sunday dinner. Then, all the kids would wait in the house while the adults went outside and hid the eggs. No Easter Bunny hid them. It was still very fun running around the yard looking for eggs in all these illusive places.
Fast forward. I'm a mom now and my circle of friends is made up of parents of young children. I hadn't given the Easter Bunny any thought until a couple of years ago when a dad asked that I not say anything about the Easter Bunny not putting the eggs out. What? Who ever heard of that? He said that his then 6 years old daughter believed that the Easter Bunny hid the eggs. In other words, she didn't know that the adults did it and it was just a game. I had to hide my shock. I had never heard of such a preposterous notion. Wouldn't it make more since if there were an Easter Chicken? After all, chickens lay eggs, don't they? I agreed not to ruin it for their girl that day. And every year, I'm careful not to spoil it for my other friends' kids.
Yesterday, I took the kids to the mall to look for some Easter shoes. The Easter Bunny was out there posing with children. My kids asked if they could see the Easter Bunny. I said "Sure, but don't ask to get your picture taken." They walked up to the Easter Bunny and waved. The Bunny gave each of them a little stuffed bunny. My kids then gave the bunny a big hug. I was careful not to spoil it for them while all the time I was a little creeped out. When we got home that evening my children were telling their dad all about it when my 4 year old son said, "It's not a real bunny, just a man dressed up like a bunny."
I was wondering when the idea of an Easter Bunny all started anyway and who all practiced it? Was my family strange? I asked my mom that Easter why the Easter Bunny didn't come to our house and she replied, "There's no such thing as an Easter Bunny. Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus Christ." I know that in the Christian faith, Easter is the most important holiday--celebrating a risen Lord. If there were no Easter, then all of it would just be an interesting story with some good moral lessons.