More often than not, the Easter Bunny wears boxer shorts

(With it being Easter, I thought I’d skip this week’s edition of Post Traumatic Sunday and run a different kind of flashback, reminiscent of when my children were small and the Easter stakes were always high. Whether this day is observed in your family or not, we can all agree any day that you can be together is worth celebrating…)

Easter dad in boxers In the wee hours this morning, something magical happened in backyards all across America as, one by one, each of them was visited by …

You guessed it! A half-naked father hiding Easter eggs.

That’s right, the same fathers who were stomping on the roof with sleigh bells Christmas Eve were out in the yard in their boxer shorts with an arm load of colorful eggs not long after sunrise.

Their mission?

Keep this tradition alive while trying not to step in anything that could elicit a response deemed inappropriate for Easter morning.

This generally follows a week of preparation, most of which is spent looking for the latest advancements in egg-dying technology. My parents didn’t have to worry about this. When I was a kid there was only one kit available for making Easter eggs. This kit included four colored pills, which could be combined to make additional colors or, as I preferred, swallowed whole and used to freak out kids in the restroom at school. The green pill was particularly effective.

The red pill I tried only once because it gave me nightmares.

As I was growing up, there were a number of advancements in egg-dying technology. For example, the highly touted “wand” made of thin copper, which could be used for dipping eggs without making a mess. I know this because the back of the box showed a cartoon family making lots of eggs under the watchful eye of the Easter Bunny who was saying, and I quote,

Look, No Mess!

There were a couple of things that bothered me about this.

First, it always looked like the family in the picture was being forced into coloring eggs by a brooding, six-foot-tall rabbit blocking the only exit from the kitchen. Sure, everyone was smiling, but who’s to say they weren’t just buying time until help arrived? Mysteriously, this family appeared on the back of the box for several years, and then — poof.


I was also bothered by the fact that despite what I’m sure must have been a rigorous testing and design process, the “wand” usually collapsed on itself and dropped the egg directly into the dye the first time you used it.

After becoming a parent, I took it upon myself to find out who was responsible for this tradition. As it turns out, Germans introduced it after settling in Pennsylvania Dutch country in the 1700s when, in an eager attempt to share their homeland’s annual spring celebration, hundreds of German children began running around yelling: OSCHTER HAWS! OSCHTER HAWS!

Not knowing it was a call for the Easter Bunny, Native American children fled, taking their breakfast of boiled eggs with them and inspiring the first Easter egg hunt in the New World.

Eventually, the Easter Bunny tradition was embraced by all parents who, like German parents, realized it could be used as leverage against their children.

Three hundred years later, little has changed. Good girls and boys still get a visit from the Easter Bunny, and fathers still stumble outside at first light to hide colored eggs.

That said, I’ll take this opportunity to apologize to my neighbors in advance of Easter, just in case I step in anything left behind by something other than the Easter Bunny.

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

61 thoughts on “More often than not, the Easter Bunny wears boxer shorts”

  1. Ha! That was funny. The Easter bunny really is scary. He freaks out kids and adults alike. Those poor people on the eqq dye box really do look terrified.

    Did you know that giant rabbits are real? Some hybrid breed from New Zealand or something, about the size of a dog. One escaped and went hopping down my street and I fled in terror. My husband didn’t bat an eye when I told him I was seeing giant rabbits. He was like, “yep, I always knew my crazy wife was delusional.”

  2. Did you really swallow the dye pills Ned? That must have been an awesome technicolor washroom display. My devious mind has whispered that that could be used in a nefarious way to play a practical joke. Just dissolve the pill in something already a bright color, say the red in tomato juice, and feed it to an unsuspecting victim.

    Anyway hiding dyed eggs seems so “old school”. I’m a big foil-wrapped chocolate egg fan. Of course in this age of obesity I’m more than happy to add my small bit. Which, speaking of obesity, reminds me: I googled “giant rabbit” as insanitybytes mentioned and those suckers are real! Up to 55 pounds – imagine a rabbit as big as a 10 year old child! Holy Rabbit, Batman! Just think of the size of the eggs those suckers would lay. Whew. I think I’m going to ask for a life sized giant chocolate rabbit for Easter next year. How much more holy could one get than to eat 55 lbs of chocolate on Easter? I’d be the hero of our church – the most holy and most respected in the congregation. The church does give points for amount of chocolate eaten, doesn’t it?

    Happy Easter Ned!

    1. Lol! The 55-pound rabbit reminds me of that horrifying rabbit from “Twilight Zone: The Movie.” Imaging how fun it would be to get one then exchange it for someone’s normal rabbit in the middle of the night?

      And I think the only Holy part about a chocolate rabbit might be if you got a hollow one for Easter….

      On that note, Happy Easter to you as well, Paul 😉

  3. Thankfully, my son entered “tween” years last month, so my days of egg-hiding (though never in boxer shorts) are over. Unless I get pregnant at 42, but anything is possible. Now we just focus on the true meaning. To that end, at church today, some of the plastic Easter eggs were left empty. As soon as I heard that was the case, I exclaimed, “Empty just like the tomb! Amen!” And then handed the kids a plastic bag of chocolate.

  4. My father never ventured out of the house. I just had to look in all the obvious places in the living room and kitchen. Good story. Lucy

  5. Uh oh, I think I just made a big mistake reading that part about swallowing the dye pills to my son. I will brace myself for the upcoming ’emergency’ or a call from school. Thanks again Ned!

    Happy Easter! 😉

    1. At least you won’t be going in blind when the school calls. You can just say, ‘Meh, he’s faking.” Of course, the NEXT cal will be from Child Protective Services, but still…

      Happy Easter to you as well, Robyn 😉

  6. I have so many silly and fun memories about Easter. Your post just reminded me of another. Do you remember the SMELL of those egg kits? The little pills had to be submerged in vinegar first…the combo vinegar/egg protein smell remains to this day!
    Then there’s that whole stepping into something special part. We did a little dive into some piles during an especially heated guys vs gals whiffle ball game. Note to self: sliding into third base head first before the first Spring mow is never a good idea.
    Hope you and yours had a happy and blessed Easter!

    1. Lol! Oh MAN do I remember that smell! And if the egg shell had a crack in it, that part would taste like vinegar. Blah!

      And yes, you’re bound to find more than Easter eggs in the grass before the first spring mow 😉

      A happy and blessed Easter (although belated) to you and your family as well!

  7. My 7 year old daughter told us she knows the Easter bunny’s name: Daddy. She saw him hiding eggs last year. My 4 year old daughter woke us up this morning saying “Emma told me you two are the Easter bunny. Where’s my eggs?”
    Our gig is up.

  8. My education is advancing with every post, Ned.
    I didn’t realise you dyed eggs and hid them. Are they normal eggs, hard boiled? Or do you blow the contents out through a tiny hole (tried that, you get through a lot of eggs and create a lot of mess and that’s before any painting begins).

    Over here we don’t have the Easter Bunny, although he/she is beginning to creep in. And Easter egg hunts are becoming more popular.
    I have hid small (wrapped) chocolate eggs in the garden before, it makes for a mad dash to get to them before the slugs and snails. We gave up years ago.

    In my house the Easter Bunny goes to the supermarket and spends a lot of time in the Easter egg aisle trying to find three similar but different boxed chocolate eggs.The eggs are then left on the kitchen table to be ‘found’ on Easter Sunday around midday when the teenagers finally stir from their slumbers. I’m not sure why I bother but apparently the novelty of chocolate in an egg shape rather than a bar is still exciting, especially the challenge of how to break into it!

    1. It seems like every family’s Easter tradition varies when it comes to Easter and egg hunts. Although most folks here hard-boil the eggs then dye them together as a family, some parents do the egg dying and hide the eggs, so that the kids think the Easter Bunny made them and hid them. I don’t exactly understand why we do the hard-boiled egg thing; most kids don’t even LIKE hard-boiled eggs. To me, hiding chocolate eggs makes much more sense. And I’m sure our two dogs would agree.

      1. Life get so much easier and so so much harder as they get older (I was going to say ‘mature’ but I think we’re way off that!)

          1. I know the feeling 😦
            I was going to say grow up but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon!

  9. I just thank the good lord that no one came up with a Holiday where clowns hide stuff in your back yard. Or worse, under a tree IN YOUR HOUSE!!!

    We had a dog once, that ate a whole box of foil wrapped chocolates. We could spot her poop for a hundred yards. Or a mile if the sun hit it just right.

    Hope your Easter was a great as the blog.

    1. Ha! I’m sure until his dying day, your dog thought to himself “Best. Day. Ever” about those chocolates.

      Thanks for the kind words, and my best wishes for you Easter as well, Chris.

  10. you know today they are doing the presidential easter egg roll..with real eggs. presidential emblem and all….id keep it…but…

    man you got some skinny legs…like the boxers tho. they are hawt.

  11. Those rabbits are terrifying! I ought to know, because, while putting on the rabbit costume for my neighborhood’s annual Easter egg hunt on Saturday, I scared the bejeezus out of my 51 year-old housemate. He screams at a lower frequency than the kids, but that was the only real difference in their reactions. Hope you had a great Easter!

    1. I don’t blame him. No matter how cute or what the occasion is, giant rabbits are just scary.

      Hope your Easter was memorable — and it sounds like it was 😉

  12. Fabulous! I was always the Easter bunny and as you know as a fellow Oregonian, hiding eggs in the dark and in the rain, makes for a cranky bunny. I remember the year their dad told the girls, “Mom’s the Easter Bunny.” Just to make it stop.

      1. I screwed up my subscriptions in my reader when I went on vacation and lost some. I’m glad you commented today so I went to your blog and found that I was no longer following you. I had gotten to thinking that no one I was following was writing anymore 🙂

  13. Of all the weirdass traditions, I agree that this one takes the proverbial cake. Riiiiight…a magic rabbit. Even my own son is rolling his eyes when it come up, and that kid LOVES free candy. Like his mommy…he refuses to fake it. no matter how happy it makes others.

    1. Lol! I feel EXACTLY the same way. It’s no small irony that, in spite of what rabbits are known for, I think all fakery can be traced to this fraudulent tradition.

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