Some Funny Bunny Business

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring is definitely in effect. Though the weather is still a little funky in the Northeast, the signs of the season are popping up everywhere.

Another sign of spring? Easter. Or, I should say, the Easter Bunny. That guy is showing up all over the place. The grocery store. The library. The mall. The pharmacy. Even your iPhone—if you’re so inclined.

That’s right. Bunny Rabbit? There’s an app for that.

I was talking to my little sister a few days ago about Easter, moreover how it’s become this other kind of holiday. One with which I’m not that familiar.

Growing up, Easter at our house meant going to church in our new outfits. It meant having a delicious meal, after having only fish a few days earlier for Good Friday. It meant finally being able to have that thing (hello, chocolate!) that you gave up for Lent. And one strange year, Easter also meant looking over at the present from my little sister’s godmother—a tiny, white bunny rabbit with red, beady eyes—and wondering, Who the heck is supposed to take care of that?!

So when my sister told me about this iPhone app where the Easter Bunny can call and “talk” to your kids, I think that’s the part in the movie where I said: “Nope. Walking out on this.”

According to this post from the Orange County Register,  for a mere $1.99, the Easter Bunny will call your iPhone to “connect” with your kids. Now, there’s a choice: a good kid call, a tsk-tsk call, and the full-on berating call. Yes, all for only a $1.99.

The good call is exactly as it sounds. With the “warning” call, Mr. Bunny puts some base in his tone, telling your misbehaving child that she needs to “try harder  or on the night before Easter, I’ll hop right by your house and deliver your treats to someone else.”

Then there’s the “kid, you done made it to the naughty Easter list” call. As the OC Register quotes it, the message goes a little something like this:

Aren’t you getting tired of disappointing your folks? Tired of hanging out in time out? Tired of that frustrated look on your teacher’s face? Well then for crying out loud, do something about it … You’ve got to try a lot harder, or I can promise you that these Easter treats that we’re making here up in Easterville will not find their way into your home on Easter morning.

Uh … what in the name?

Clearly, things got out of hand somewhere along the lines or the app-maker was just having a bit too much fun with this one. When did the Easter Bunny even get to the level of Easterville and having this much sway with kids? No, don’t answer that. The real question here might be, are parents buying into this? Or, more to the point, are they actually buying this app?

Curious, what do you think about all of this?

  • 1
    Kristin says:

    My kids think all bunnies *say* Hop Hop. They would be SO confused. I vote: No.

  • 2
    Amy says:

    Arg! Horrible. I really can’t stand the commercialization if Easter even more so than that of Christmas. At least Santa (St. Nick) has basis in history but Easter bunny is just a ploy to get parents to spend money. Personally one holiday of the ‘naughty and nice’ list is enough for me. Doesn’t anyone remember learning about intrinsic motivation instead of bribing kids to behave. Ok stepping off my soapbox now :)

  • 3
    Nailah says:

    I don’t have kids yet but my husband and I have already started talking about how to deal with things like Santa Claus and now the Easter Bunny. I’m not sure when Easter stepped over Christmas in terms of commercialization but it’s really getting ridiculous. I agree with Amy’s comment up above – What happens when a generation of little kids who only learned how to be good through the use of threats and bribes grows up?

    And Nicole, let’s leave Babs (my lovely white bunny with the red beady eyes) out of this, ok?

    • 3.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      Ha! How did I forget that Red-Eyed Bunny had a name? Babs. So it was a girl. Noted.

  • 4
    Kristin says:

    I have to stick up for the bunny, Amy. It actually has a tradition related to Ostera, the goddess of spring. He was caught hanging out with her a lot. Bunnies = fertility. One of my favorite stories as a child was about the first Easter rabbit in German, but I can’t find the book anywhere!

  • 5
    Melissa Brook says:

    We celebrate Passover, not Easter, but I still believe this a new low for the holiday. Its turned into just one more commercial holiday where parents are expected to shell out bucks for toys and candy. If you celebrate the religious fact, great. But where does the Easter bunny come in??? I mean seriously, what is this now, Christmas Part II????

  • 6
    Melissa Brook says:

    I know the bunny has its religious purpose, but when it comes to the holiday of “Easter” it has nothing to do with it. I think everyone should stop trying to make parents feel bad for not buying stuff. A few pieces of candy fine, but calls to the Easter bunny bribing for gifts, toys, and goodies, way out of line.