Monday, March 25, 2013

The Story of Easter

Easter is coming up this weekend.  I’m not really all that crazy about Easter.

It’s one of those holidays that’s really only fun if you’re a kid or if you’re super-duper into religion.  I am neither of those things.

I prefer holidays like Christmas where at the end of the all crap I have to deal with I at least get some gifts.  Or holidays like St. Patrick’s Day or Cinco de Mayo where the main purpose of the day is drinking.  Easter just doesn’t do it for me.

Regardless of my feelings, however, I am the victim of 30 some-odd years of Catholic guilt so we still go to church for Easter. 

In preparation of this I attempted to explain the real meaning of Easter to the kids.  Come to find out, I’m not really even sure I fully understand what the hell happened there.  Christmas is so much easier to discuss with kids:

Christmas – A baby was born.  Hooray Christmas!

Easter – There’s betrayal, torture, death and Jesus turns into a zombie.  And then we dye eggs.

So, knowing full well that I was setting myself up for failure I started a conversation about Jesus and Easter with the kids…

Me: “Hey guys, so on Sunday we’re going to go to church for Easter.  I want to talk about Easter and how it’s because of Jesus and not because of the Easter Bunny.  You remember who Jesus is?”

Carter: “Yeah, he’s a baby, right?”

Me: “Well Easter happened when Jesus was all grown up.  He wasn’t a baby anymore.  So what happened was Jesus was helping people and this king didn’t like it so he arrested him.”

(Is that even how the story goes?)

Carter: “Did he go to jail?  Did he get to ride in a police car to jail?”

Me: “Yeah he went to jail, but they didn’t have police cars back then.”

Carter: “Why not?”

Me: “Yeah, ok, actually they did have a police car and he rode in it.”

(I have to pick my battles.)

Me: “And so the people didn’t like him doing good things so they made him walk up this hill with this cross…”

(Why do I know the lesson you’re going to take from this is “Don’t do good things”?)

Carter: “What’s a cross?”

Me: “Um, it’s like a letter T."
(Well, I mean, YOU describe what the purpose of a cross is!  No, really, can you?  Cause I don't get it...)
Me: "So then the people did mean things to him while he carried the cross..."
(I covered whipping, jamming thorns into your head and shoving nails through your feet and hands under the category "mean things".)
Me: "And they thought he was dead but he wasn’t…well he was…but then he rose from the dead.  And so that’s Easter.”

(If anyone, after reading that stellar explanation of the holiday, wants me to explain Easter to YOUR kids as well just give me a shout…)

Carter: “So are we gonna see Jesus at church?”

Me: “No he won’t be there…except everyone will tell you that he’s there…he lives in Heaven.”

Carter: “I want to go to Heaven.”

(I can tell you right now that the odds aren’t in your favor there, pal.)

Me: “Well you can’t go to Heaven.  You’re gonna go to church instead.  So basically I want you to know that Jesus was a nice man who died for us.”

Carter: “Did he dye all the bad guys who were mean to him?”

Me: “Not DYE.  DIE.  Um…like dead.  Not like eggs.”

Carter: “Are we still going to dye eggs?”

Me: “Yes.”

Carter: “And is the Easter Bunny still going to come to our house even though the king didn’t like Jesus and gave him the T and sent him to Heaven?”

Me: “Yes.”

Carter: “Can I go play now?”

Me: “Yes.”

Good talk son!  Glad I cleared all of that right up for you. 


  1. You made a better attempt than me!! I didn't have any sort of faith in my home growing up, but am adopting it as an adult. My 3 year old daughter asked me the other day why Jesus died on the cross. I looked at her and said seriously, "I'm going to have to get back to you on that one." Because I mostly don't know how to explain it in a way that might even make a shred of sense or that won't totally scare the hell out of her!! I agree - Christmas is a lot easier for the little ones :)

  2. See, this is where my mom comes in. She actually LIKES explaining this stuff to them! I get off easy! "Go ask Nana." Aaaand I'm spent.

    But really, I think you did a pretty good job. Of course, that's coming from a really bad Catholic so maybe you don't want to use me as a measuring device but still, I think you did pretty good. If Nana isn't available I'll have my kids call you!

    1. I'm going to try that Nana thing. But I'm scarily a lot like my not sure how that'll go. Although she does go to church and shit...oh...I mean stuff.

  3. Hey, I was explaining it to kids one year during the children's sermon at church and I asked who knows about Easter. One kid pipes up and tells me the whole story. I asked how he knew it and he says " I saw the video." And so it goes. It was a great answer. Unfortunately, all of the grownups in the congregation laughed, so he probably will never answer a question again.