From the Cul De Sac: Aren’t Easter Eggs for Easter?
Years ago, my family and I traveled to a small town in Northern California for my cousin’s wedding. Los Gatos was a beautiful, and obviously very affluent, community with well-manicured houses, lawns and common areas. Trendy, overpriced boutiques and bistros lined the pristine streets. It was the kind of picture-perfect little town in which everyone hopes to one day live.
The wedding happened to take place over Easter weekend and, as we toured the downtown area with the groom-to-be, I noticed an oversized banner, draped from light post to light post, which read “The 9th Annual Los Gatos Bunny Fun Hunt.”
Bunny fun hunt? What exactly is that? Are they having fun hunting bunnies? Or are the bunnies hunting for some fun, where they inevitably end up in little bunny dive bars and night clubs?
Now, logically we knew that this was the city’s annual Easter egg hunt and, although those fun bunnies have spawned inside jokes in my family that have become just as much an Easter tradition as the eggs themselves, thinking about it still irks me, none the less.
Why did the City of Los Gatos feel the need to avoid using the word Easter?
With Northern California notoriously liberal, it’s obvious that the Los Gatos bigwigs are trying not to offend the non-Christians in the community because, goodness knows, someone is always going to be offended. Heck, there will be some of you who are offended by this column.
But think about it logically, and unemotionally, for a minute.
If the Los Gatians (Los Gatoians? Los Gatish?) are refusing to acknowledge that egg hunts generally accompany the Easter holiday – a Christian holiday – but they don’t want to alienate non-Christians, why host an egg hunt at all?
Sure, eggs and bunnies and all that stuff technically came from Pagan origins celebrating the coming of spring, but you still can’t deny that egg hunting is an Easter tradition and Easter is a Christian holiday. It’s just fact.
Therefore, I offer my highest praise to the City of Temecula Community Services Department, who will be hosting three Easter Egg Hunts on the Saturday before Easter…and are calling them “Easter Egg Hunts.”
Kevin Hawkins, Director of Community Services for the City of Temecula, describes the year-round events planned by his department as not promoting Christianity, but instead targeting every resident of the city they represent.
“Temecula takes pride in being family-friendly and we strive to reflect that ‘family first’ theme in every program, service, and event,” Hawkins said. “Similar to our annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, Easter eggs and Christmas trees are not religious symbols. As a result, there was no need to overreact and we maintained the essence of what the events were all about. That’s what our residents expect. That’s what our city council expects. And that’s what we expect of ourselves, as professionals who care about our community.”
So, while the Los Gatish are hunting for those fun bunnies, Temecula residents will be hunting actual Easter eggs.
For those of you interested in attending any of Temecula’s three Easter egg hunts, complete with bounce houses and an appearance by the original fun bunny himself, the Easter Bunny, the information is as follows:
Date and Time: Saturday, March 26th at 10:00 am sharp (arrive at 9:30 am, to be safe)
Harveston Community Park (28582 Harveston Drive)
Patricia H. Birdsall Sports Park ((32380 Deer Hollow Way)
Temeku Hills Park ((31367 La Serena Way)
These popular family events are open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Additional information can be found on the Temecula Community Services website at www.temeculaevents.org.
So, if you do have a problem with a word of Christian connotation, like the City of Los Gatos apparently does, I guess we won’t be seeing you at a City of Temecula Easter Egg Hunt. But, you can always hit the clubs with those fun bunnies.
(A version of this column was first published in the San Diego Union Tribune.)