I’ve never been a huge fan of Easter, but this has especially been true since I stopped believing in all the God stuff. I never stopped celebrating Christmas, but that’s because it’s easy to pretend Christmas is a secular holiday. I mean, it’s just some guy’s birthday. I celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s, so why not Jesus’? Jesus was born today? Well, good for him! Bring on the loot!

But Easter is another story. Easter is when God brought his immaculately-conceived son back from the dead after he died to absolve mankind of our sins. Uh… okay… If you believe that, I can see why you want to mark the day with celebration and prayer. But if I’m not down with resurrection thing the other 364 days of the year, I don’t think I deserve to crash your party just for the sake of some hollowed-out chocolate bunnies or hard boiled eggs dipped in food coloring.

Revenge, however, justifies any hypocrisy in my book.

This past Christmas, Drew and I set a hard limit on how much we were allowed to spend on each other. See, between the 9 or so people in my family and the 9,000 or so in his, we were already spending more than we could afford on gifts, so we agreed to scale back our own Christmas so we could spend more on the other people on our lists. But when we opened our gifts, I discovered that Drew had gone over the limit by at least 50%.

“But the gifts in the stocking aren’t from me,” he explained. “They’re from Santa!” And somehow, on hearing that, I managed to suppress my rage. I guess I’m one of those people who doesn’t get mad, I get even… well, at least when getting mad would mean having to return Simpsons Hit & Run for Gamecube. If I’m a whore for anything, it’s my Nintendo.

For Easter this year, I made him promise that we wouldn’t buy each other anything at all. He stuck to it, and so did I, all the way until Easter morning. But when he woke up early on Sunday to do laundry, like he always does, I realized I was missing the perfect opportunity for payback. So I snuck out of the apartment, drove to the drugstore, and when he came back from the laundromat, there were chocolate bunnies, toys and a mini Easter egg hunt awaiting him.

I could see him struggling to suppress his rage: “You’re in big trouble, Mister!”

“But I didn’t do anything!” I replied. “It was the Easter bunny!”

* * * * *

Our friends have a five-year-old daughter, and, being no more Christian than Drew and I, they managed to forget all about Easter until late Saturday night. They opened a FedEx from the grandparents, who had sent their granddaughter a basket full of Easter junk, and suddenly, they realized that they never got her any Easter junk of their own. So Grandma and Grandpa’s basket became the Easter Bunny’s, and they celebrated Christ’s resurrection by duping their daughter and robbing the grandparents of her gratitude.

When we went over to visit on Sunday afternoon, she was still on a mad sugar- and fictional character visit-rush, and she begged her dad to read the Easter Bunny’s card to her again. He picked up a card that said, “To our Granddaughter” and read the preprinted poem, ignoring Grandma and Grandpa’s handwritten note for their thankfully illiterate child. “I hope your day is filled with toys and fun and candy,” he ad libbed. “Love, the Bunny”.

Happy Rebirthday, Jesus.

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