I don’t know If I share this opinion with most Anthropologists or not, but I know I share It with many of my other fellow humans. And that is, Americans do some weird sh*t for our holiday traditions – mostly because of how fervently we have integrated our religous holidays into consumer culture and vice versa.
I have nothing against religious holidays as a concept – aside from the forced gift-giving (I’m an “it’s the thought that counts” and purposeful-reciprocity kind of gal). Holidays are a time when we observe traditions rooted in our most ancient of heritages that remind us we are human. And if you are a kid, those holidays are intentionally designed for you to look forward to, with gamified rituals abound to pleasantly socialize you into the observance of said human traditions.
Much like most play, the fun things we do at holiday-time and the rituals we create to cater to children are designed to train us in our adult responsibilities. It’s why in normal life we get the new Monster High dolls and fake tools and miniature kitchen utensils as toys. These are the things that will be part of our “work” when we become adults. The same holds true for Holidays, I’m afraid. But when you are a kid, they are FUN FUN FUN! Lighting Channukah candles and getting presents and chocolate money, waiting for Santa to leave a pile of toys under the Christmas tree, hunting for Easter eggs in the back yard!
But then we turned a creepy consumer culture-driven corner somewhere in the mid-20th century and things started to get weird. More and more we associated those traditions with material acquisition and the shopping malls and department stores in America started getting aggressive to drive in the traffic.
Thus the creepy department store Santa was born: forcing children everywhere to sit in a big fat strange old man’s lap, tell him if we have been naughty or nice (when in normal life we are taught not to talk to strangers), ask him for presents (also a childhood no-no) and smile for a picture (another kid-favorite activity). It is at this point that we began to scar an entire generation for the sake of having a Christmas card photo or a picture for the mantle to remind us of our folly.
I think the following video clip from my favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story, sums it up:
Then at some point we decided that Easter was an in equally important indulgence holiday and the giant Easter Bunny was born. I am not entirely well-versed in the Easter Bunny origin story. But apparently, as is par for the course on weird pop culture, it has something to do with the Germans – at least according to Wikipedia’s Easter Bunny Entry.
So, I thought it would be appropriate to present my case about how consumer culture has made holiday’s creepy by showcasing some empirical-archeological-data-based-evidence from An astonishing collection of creepy Easter Bunny family photos submitted by many brave souls who decided to risk bringing back the pain so that they could share it with others and raise awareness of this damaging human ritual.
After I give them their eggs, I am taking them back to my planet with me.
As hard as shopping malls try to make “going to see the Easter Bunny” a thing, it’s never quite caught on like visiting Santa Claus. Maybe that’s because Christmas is a magical celebration of materialistic greed and gluttony while the closest thing to “fun” about Easter is showing off your new pair of church slacks — or maybe it’s because every Easter Bunny costume is a walking nightmare of soul-scarring horror. Here are some examples of why the image of a bleeding, emaciated guy on a cross rising from the grave is somehow not the most traumatizing thing about this holiday.
His eyes fell off so he had to replace them with a hand full of red jelly beans.
They look even scarier alone. What do they think about? Do they think only in screams?
Did it just die? Get the kid, he’s on a dead bunny!
It’s uncomfortable that the Easter Bunny sits like our Dad on a hot day.
The kid’s crying because that’s just a Chuck E. Cheez animatronic bass player come to life.
This bunny’s name is Hopalong Junkpouch.
Something tells me it’s not the bunny that’s chocolate-filled after this picture.
“Prisoner 49581, please submit yourself to The Bunny. Prisoner 49581 to The Bunny.”
They say when you look into its eyes you can see Hell itself.
For the next page and more of this daring and disturbing set of images, click here to go to HappyPlace.com
And just remember, it should be our job to prevent children from having nightmares – not to make them come true.
This has been a public service message from The Narcissistic Anthropologist.
- Where Did The Easter Bunny Come From? (mentalfloss.com)
- The traditional Easter facehugger bunny (geeknative.com)
- Easter: Pagans, Peeps, Good Eggs, and a Bad Bunny (thewritesideof50.com)
- Easter Bunnies & Eggs (foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com)
- If the Easter Bunny Were a Stormtrooper (laughingsquid.com)