Twas the night before Easter, and all through the town,
Everyone was shopping for candy, but there was none to be found.
The aisles of the big box store were jammed full of shoppers,
But empty shelves held not a single wind-up chick hopper.
No stuffed bunnies, no Reece’s eggs, no bags of jelly beans,
The accoutrements of Easter were none to be seen.
I chatted with friends who were also out hunting
For candy and trinkets their kiddos were wanting.
That’s all I’ve got. I can’t keep going with this poem. You should know that it’s based on actual events that recur yearly, and every year I ask myself, “Why?”
This year I asked a friend from church that question when we ran into each other while shopping.
“Look at this,” she said, showing me the pile of colorful children’s t-shirts stuffed into her cart. “What does this have to do with Easter?”
“I don’t know,” I answered. “But I’m wondering the same thing about this box of Old Maid playing cards.”
“Where’s Jesus in this stuff?” she asked. “I’m not seeing Him.”
“Did you check the Easter section? I’m pretty sure they sold out,” I said.
It was funny, but also not. We went back to the task at hand—procuring random items for Easter gifts. Because, while we agreed the shopping feels gross, neither of us had the gumption to buck the trend. We’ve been institutionalized, you might say, and now we perpetuate a tradition of stuffed bunnies and wind-up chicks that poop jelly beans.
At Christmas, we can at least tell ourselves, “Well, the wise men brought gifts to the Christ child, and so we exchange gifts…” It works, a little. But there were no baskets of chocolate at the crucifixion, and as far as I know, no bunnies at the resurrection.
Despite how it sounds, I’m not a curmudgeon about Easter. My kids hunt eggs and wear adorable clothing because that’s what you do, and also, it’s fun. But every year it nags at me, the distraction of it all.
I hope your Easter was lovely, and your distractions few.
He Is Risen!
(Betsy Swenson can be reached at email@example.com.)