I have been scouring the files of my mind, trying to recall a year that April Fool’s Day and Easter collided on the same calendar day.
My birthday is, well, tomorrow. I pay particular attention to events that happen on and around the day I came into the world.
April Fool’s Day is never—as in ever—going to coincide with my birthday, which is fine by me. Yet, from the time I was in single digits and sporting a pageboy haircut, I have wished and waited for Easter to fall on the day I was born.
It has happened only twice: on my first birthday—which doesn’t count since I have no memory of it—and on the day I turned 12.
Thanks to my inquiring mind, all hopes for celebrating another Easter Sunday birthday have been squashed, dashed, put to rest. I did a little research and discovered that some guy or girl out there by the name of Smarty Pants figured out all the Easter Sunday dates through 2299.
Yes, as in the year 2299. An April 2nd Easter is not scheduled again until 2051. Let’s just say I’m not in any hurry for that day to arrive.
Smarty Pants also solved the mystery of why I have no recollection of an Easter April Fool’s Day. Today is the first in my lifetime.
Why I didn’t guess this myself is confounding. I would have remembered an April Fool’s Day Easter because my father was big on April Fool’s pranks and an expert at executing them.
Such a day would have opened up a brand new box of tricks for him. Woe to my brothers and me had April Fool’s landed on Easter.
Dad might have sent us on an eggless Easter hunt or he may have filled plastic eggs with empty candy wrappers—April Fools. We may have found Easter baskets full of broccoli and baby carrots or soap and deodorant—April Fools.
When we gathered around the table to color Easter eggs, we may have discovered—in one squeeze—that Dad had swapped out Mom’s hardboiled eggs with raw ones, but I doubt it.
Dad knew better than to mess with Mom. He chose life.
Easter services would have been the one positive thing about an April Fool’s Easter—a two hour or so reprieve. The church would have been our safe haven in the most literal sense.
Dad might have toyed with the idea of putting marshmallow peeps in our jacket pockets. I can even picture him giving serious thought to slipping rattlesnake eggs between the thin pages of the book of John in our Bibles.
Thoughts of Jesus would not have put a stop to those most beguiling of temptations. Dad believed Jesus had a sense of humor.
Thoughts of crossing Mom with an April Fool’s prank at church? Nope. Nada. Not gonna happen. No way.
The Easter bunny is an April Fool of sorts. The Germans brought him over when they immigrated to Pennsylvania In the 1700s.
Better said, they brought a hare of tradition. Their children made nests for a rabbit that laid colored eggs. Today’s bunny lays toys, candy, and gift cards.
There would be no Easter bunny without Easter and there would be no Easter without the resurrection of Christ. Biblical scholars have traced that awesome event to April 5, AD 33—my brother’s birthday, of course.
On April 5, AD 33, an empty tomb signified that Jesus had pulled off the greatest April Fool of all time, but He did it through truth, not deception. Christ’s detractors, those who thought they had quieted Him for good, had only deceived themselves.
May our pranks be kind on this April Fool’s Day. May God’s gift of forgiveness remain foremost in our minds on this Easter Sunday.