Johnny has been telling me for two weeks everything he wants the Easter Bunny to bring him. He is certain that if I email his list to Mr. Bunny, he will have the best Easter basket ever. He also wants me to ask how he gets into our house. Does he come down the chimney like Santa Clause? And he tells me to ask if Mr. Bunny can hide the eggs outside this year.
I remember when I was still young enough to believe in a giant bunny who hid eggs all over our house. Every year we could count on a number of things in our Easter basket. My sister and I always received a movie (usually with a religious theme, like the TNT movies Jacob and Joseph), a book (also with a Christian bent), a Reese's Peanut Butter Egg, some sort of chap stick or lotion, and of course, jelly beans. When I was 16, just after I obtained my drivers license, I received my favorite Easter Basket: candy, movie, book, and a set of my own keys to my parents Blazer.
The Easter Bunny will indeed arrive to our house in a few days. I can't wait. My kids will eat chocolate eggs and jelly beans for breakfast (saving the black ones for Grandmama). I will wrestle them into fancy clothes for church, where they will play off their sugar high in the nursery and 4-year-old class. I will try to instill in them the idea that Easter is not about eggs and a bunny, but about a savior who died, and an empty tomb. I will try to tie the Easter Bunny to this truth the way we tie Santa to Jesus' birth. The Easter bunny leaves gifts to celebrate the gift of God's love. Maybe I will tell them that he hides eggs the way the Romans tried to hide Jesus's body behind a stone. Maybe I will tell them that when Mr. Bunny leaves, instead of "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night," he shouts "He is not here, He is risen!"