Tag Archives: Celebration

Hippity Hop Hop Hop

23 Mar

There’s only a few more days until Easter Sunday, which means those who have given up things for Lent are probably arguing amongst each other about when they can legally light up their first cigarette in weeks (it’s not my business, of course, but I’d say if you wait until the Mass of the Last Supper is over, you can safely smoke your way through the Holy Triduum). Even though I’m not a follower of the faith, I happen to love Easter. Why? Because it’s absolutely crazy.

As anyone who’s ever received a Happy Birthday Jesus card from that woman who took a shine to you on the one day you agreed to pick up your grandmother at church knows, the Lord was born on December 25, and no Santa Claus with his presents and reindeer will ever take that fact away. However, when it comes to his being re-born, it’s all a little hazier, and it appears the head church honchos basically just said, screw it, let’s let the moon decide. Of course, three days before the rebirth celebration is the acknowledgement of Christ’s crucifixion and death, known as Good Friday, which seems a little harsh to me, but whatever, he’s your god. In fact, some Christians spread the whole holiday season out for weeks before, and I guess that makes sense because being born of a virgin is pretty good, but being born again after being killed, well, come on, that’s quite worthy of celebration.

Believe it or not, though, the being brought back to life thing isn’t even the craziest part of Easter.

The ways we celebrate the holiday are mad, and for some reason, animals are at the forefront. Pigs gets killed and spiral sliced onto plates for Easter Sunday, though to honour the porcine sacrifice, we decorate their carcasses with pineapple slices and Maraschino cherries. I’m sure that must soothe their departed souls.

Vintage-creepy-easter-bunny-3Of course, the Easter Bunny is the main animal associated with the holiday. He is a human-sized hare who shows up at shopping malls to judge and frighten children. Parents are cool with this, because the bunny then comes round the house to hide a basket full of plastic grass, cheap toys and jelly beans for children to find on Easter Sunday, thus allowing the adults a couple hours of free time while the little ones run off their sugar highs in the back garden. There are usually eggs in the basket as well, though anyone who believes the bunny laid those eggs is just not thinking right.

Because chickens lay eggs and even the craziness of Easter can’t change that. When I was growing up, we’d take hard-boiled chicken eggs, drop them in vinegar and dye, and marvel at the lovely colours. Sometimes we’d write on them first with crayon, with the promise that our names would appear once they emerged from the dye. I’m telling you, it was fucking magical. Now, I’m sure, kids use 3D printers or whatever to do their eggs, since technology is the magic of the day and everything good gets ruined. Sometimes adults hide these coloured eggs outside, and kids have to go find them. When I was growing up, my family held Easter egg hunts every year, and Grampy Carmichael used to hide one special silver egg (one of those plastic ones ladies hosiery used to be sold in), and the lucky child found it would get to enjoy the dollar and dirty joke inside. It seems hide and seek is a real theme of this holiday. Whether or not this is some kind of comment on the myrrhbearers not finding what they expected to find at Jesus’s tomb, I do not know.

However, eggs aren’t the only way that we mess with chickens’ minds at Easter. We often place the chicks whose development wasn’t stopped by being boiled in their shells in the baskets next to their siblings’ coloured tombs. Sometimes we dye the chicks pastels, just because we can. Or we form chicks out of marshmallows and cover them with sugar. (Suggestion: let them go a little stale before biting their heads off — yes, they’ll rip out your fillings but, trust me, it’ll be worth it.)

There are also Easter parades where people show off their hats. I mean, who doesn’t love hats?

Whether you’re into Easter for its religious significance or just for the insane traditions, I truly hope you have a good one. I was part of the parish’s planning committee, so naturally I’ll be donning my Easter bonnet this Sunday out at the egg hunt on the village green. Christopher will be suited up nice and smart next to me, though he won’t be taking pictures again, thanks to his police caution last year. Good luck to the little ones looking for the eggs — if you find the silver one and aren’t sure what that word means, I’m sure your father will be happy to explain it to you.

Should A Boy’s Best Friend Really Be His Mother?

14 Mar

I have never been a huge proponent of days set aside to celebrate reproduction (Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, etc).  To me, the simple fact that one participated in the merging of egg and sperm hardly makes one deserving of a whole day of recognition. However, I am clearly alone in this view. Germany has its Muttertag, America its Mother’s Day, and today we have Mothering Sunday.

As you know, I have a mother and I have resigned myself to sending her a card (and possibly ringing her, if I’ve enough vodka in the house) on the second Sunday of May. I will do that, because that is what one does. However, I do feel that some people take the whole “honour thy mother” thing a tad too far.

I am not unaware that mothers make sacrifices for their children. And I acknowledge that most go to some trouble to care for their offspring. Fair dues. However, my mechanic regularly services my car (and even buffs the interior leather), and I certainly don’t feel compelled to “honour” him with perfume and flowers on an annual basis. Why mothers should be celebrated simply for doing their job is beyond my comprehension.

Have you noticed it’s often men who feel obliged to go out of their way on Mother’s Day (without any regard for the fact that the woman who actually pays their salary needs to be driven into town for brunch with her new editor)? Maybe my confusion lies in the fact that I am a daughter. Clearly mothers have different expectations of daughters, which could cause the relationship to be somewhat strained. I asked Christopher why sons are the worse offenders in terms of showering adoration on their mums; silence was his only riposte. I guess, bringing him into a world of beauty and sophistication means nothing, whereas the simple act of buying and laundering his pants for sixteen years apparently deserves lifelong gratitude.

Of course, having never known the apparent “joy” one experiences after giving birth to a younger and generally smaller human, I cannot speak from personal experience of the so-called maternal bond. Clearly, there must be something to this veneration of “a mother’s love” for nothing without some basis in reality could be tolerated by the public for so long. It isn’t that I begrudge a mother and son wanting to acknowledge their mutual affection—-more power to them. However, I simply think it needs to be kept in check (particularly if it interferes with my work schedule). The umbilical cord must be cut at some time or heaven knows what could happen.

As I said, though, I know I am the lone voice of sanity with regards to this issue. So, “Happy Mother’s Day” to all of you mothers out there. A good day to you all. Enjoy this afternoon with your son. Please don’t let me and the future of my career affect you in any way. I’ll make my own way to my meeting, don’t you worry. Savour your time together, because tomorrow he’ll come back to me. Never you fear.