The Sandman and other gift-bearing creatures


Easter is upon us, and you know what that means: chocolate rabbits! Each year on Easter Sunday, a magical rabbit (actually a hare) comes out of the forest and brings baskets full of eggs, candies, toys and chocolate rabbits. The Easter Bunny, as he is called, hides the baskets inside each house, and the children who live there have to find the baskets.

When I was growing up, my basket was usually hidden behind the sofa. My brother found his once inside the oven (which was, thankfully, turned off).

If you’re a kid, the Easter Bunny is the true meaning of Easter. Adults, however, know the holiday as a celebration of Jesus Christ and his rebirth. Kind of like Bodhisattvas who have postponed their own enlightenment in order to stay behind and help relieve the suffering of others, the ancient Christian texts say that Jesus came back to life to help save those still living.

But children identify much more with chocolate rabbits than rebirth. The Easter Bunny is to Easter what Santa Claus is to Christmas. Nothing like good commercial bribery to get kids to believe in something.

Easter falls on March 31 this year, and children all around the United States will be looking forward to the Easter Bunny’s basket full of goodies left especially for them. Those Easter Baskets are so big, it would take a rabbit on steroids to carry them all. But he does.

Oh, what’s this? Some breaking news has just come in. Here, I’ll turn up the radio so you can hear too: “We have just learned that the Easter Bunny will not be making his rounds this year to visit homes and leave children Easter Baskets. The case against the Easter Bunny was brought on by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, in a televised animal rights campaign to end employment of rabbits and hares whom PETA feels are being taken advantage of by religious groups. The PETA statement reads that “Rabbits and hares are wild animals and the wild animal kingdom is non-denominational. The Easter Bunny’s lawyer defended the egg-bearing hare by saying he should be exempted on the grounds that he was doing charity work, but the court ruled in favor of PETA. Parents are encouraged to replace the traditional Easter Basket with gaudy, over-priced look-a-likes found in discount mega-stores.”

Well, that’s a shocker. The Easter Bunny has been coming to the U.S. since the 18th century. I imagine most parents will not tell their children that the Easter Bunny is no longer politically correct, but will choose instead to tell them that the Easter Bunny never really existed anyway. It’s sad to see a childhood icon go the way of political correctness.

Well, at least we still have other heroes of childhood to believe in, such as the Sandman. What, you haven’t heard of the Sandman? He visits children when they sleep and puts magic dust in their eyes to help them sleep and have nice dreams. That’s why when you wake up in the morning, you sometimes have grainy stuff (that feels like sand) in your eyes. Oh, wait a minute, we have some more breaking news: “The Sandman has been relieved of his duties, according to his spokesperson. The American Parents Association has decided it is not good to have men coming into children’s rooms at night visiting them in their beds. In addition, some parents have expressed concern regarding the ingredients the Sandman uses in his dust to produce such vivid dreams. The APA denied accusations that the decision was an overreaction to the recent spate of pedophile charges among clergy.”

Well, that’s embarrassing. Seems like being a child these days is no fun at all with so many things out there to get you! No, not like when I was growing up, when we let any kind of animal or fairy into our houses in the middle of the night. I was especially enamored with the Tooth Fairy. When children lose a baby tooth, they put it under their pillow so the Tooth Fairy can come and take it. She then leaves a little cash under their pillow in return. I always envisioned her wearing a big puffy white dress, inlaid with tatting and hand-sewn sequence of various colors. Of course she was carrying a wand.

Oh no, more breaking news! “It is with a heavy heart that we report today that the Tooth Fairy passed away last night. She was hundreds of years old. Her husband, a dentist, said she died while on duty. It appears that the Tooth Fairy is the most recent victim of gun violence in America. According to New York police, she was putting dollar bills under a 9-year-old boy’s pillow, when the child’s father came into the bedroom and shot her. ‘I thought she was an intruder,’ said the father, who had recently purchased the pistol he kept by his bedside and used to kill the gift-bearing fairy. ‘I was only trying to protect my family. It was all a big mistake.’ When asked why he would have shot at the fairy when he knew his son had just lost a tooth and was going to leave his baby tooth under the pillow that night, the father said, ‘I didn’t believe in the Tooth Fairy.’ Well, it’s a little late now.”

I hope Santa Claus gets himself some bodyguards. Sneaking into millions of houses in one night, he’s bound to be mistaken for an intruder, or the Grinch, if he’s not careful. It would be very sad if we lost ole St. Nick. Even last year was a close call when he was banned from entering certain houses via the chimney due to new health and safety laws. He was forced to remove the white fur on his suits and to get them fireproofed, all of which were barely finished in time for his Dec. 24 deliveries.

Oh no, some more breaking news! What now? “The word is spreading across the world, and has gone viral on the social media site Twitter, that Santa Claus will no longer be visiting children and bringing toys for Christmas. The government has released a statement from the IRS claiming Santa has not paid taxes on toys for hundreds of years. Santa is said to be liable for over a billion dollars in back taxes including import duties, payroll taxes and consumption taxes. Mrs. Santa would not comment when contacted by phone at their North Pole home. If Santa Claus is convicted, he could spend years behind bars together with hundreds of politicians, attorneys familiar with the case said Friday.”

The world continues to get safer and more politically correct.