Easter Candy! It’s the best. Cadbury Creme Eggs, Peeps, malt eggs, coconut bird nests, hollow chocolate rabbits, jelly beans, and Reese Peanut Butter Eggs. Best. Candy. Holiday. Even better than Halloween, Valentines, and Christmas. There, I said it.
Sure, Halloween is the orgy of candy, but when you think about it, it’s just the fun-sized versions of the stuff that’s available all year round. Yeah, when you’re a kid, you get to go door-to-door dressed in a costume begging candy off of strangers—and that’s cool and all. But with Easter, you don’t have to do all the work—a giant magical rabbit delivers the goods piled on a fluffy mound of fake plastic grass! Basically, the Easter Bunny is the greatest import from the Germans to America, ever.
But what chocolate rabbits and Peep Marshmallows have to do the resurrection of Jesus, I have no idea. No clue. All I know is this—Jesus was a dude with long hair who turned water into wine and hung out with the freaks and prostitutes. This is a guy that would be down with magical bunnies. All I’m saying.
Then again, it’s entirely possible that Satan has simply lured us all with evil jelly beans and we’re all going to hell because of this pagan shit. That’s why some Christian folks have created an alternative to secular Easter candy to remind us all of our mortality and inherent sinfulness. So I decided to duck into the local Family Christian store to check out their selection of “true” Easter candy. This is what I came back with.
Concept: Prayer Jelly Beans
My initial reaction was disappointment when I realized the fun sayings like “Jesus’ Blood” were not actually imprinted on the jellybeans. These are just plain old jellybeans in a tube that gives us the Jelly Bean Prayer, which is now officially my favorite prayer.
The prayer begins, “thank you Lord for these jellybeans that remind me of your love. Black represents my sinful heart, keeping me from you above.” I wonder if it’s no coincidence that black is the fewest in number in the container. Probably because being reminded of their black hearts while eating candy might be a little hard on children. Then again, when did Christianity ever decide to take it easy on children? Have you ever seen that movie Jesus Camp?
The sin jellybeans were the most fun to eat. I hate black licorice, but I plucked the black ones out of the tube and ate them with a special defiance. I did not follow them up with the cleansing white jellybeans.
I don’t want to type out the rest of the prayer because I’m concerned I may involuntarily save my soul in doing so. I’m saving the jellybeans. If the Japanese radiation cloud comes here and we run out of iodine tablets at the pharmacy, I’m just gonna start eating these jelly beans.
Here I’ve put a Peep in a circle of the prayer jellybeans to ward off his evil sinfulness and marshmallowy depravity.
Concept: Christian Lollipops
The first one is a Birthday Cake For Jesus lollipop, which was stashed in with the Easter stuff, and I can only presume was originally part of the Christmas candy display. I felt a little bad for it, sitting there all alone and awkward among the scripture jellybeans and butterfly lollipops, so I bought it.
I was looking forward to eating it, and when I bit into it, I discovered it was a simply a block of sugar. There was no flavor or any attempt to mask that it was just pure, crystal sugar. The grains flecked off and dissolved on my tongue. Whoa. Jesus sugar rush. Whoa.
The second lollipop is a “New Life” pop which contains a butterfly pop and bonus caterpillar gummy. SOLD. Also, CuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuTE.
Ahem, I went a little wild with the “U” key. It’s that Jesus sugar that got me all hopped up. I MEANT TO TYPE THIS SENTENCE IN ALL CAPS AND IF I COULD MAKE IT BLINK I WOULD.
I’m sort of doing these candies in a loose order of least offensive to most offensive. Here’s the next one:
Concept: Double Crisp Prayer Hands!
It’s crispy! It’s crunchy! It’s serenity! It’s not even chocolate! It’s partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil! I am just addicted to this exclamation point!
Now, I’ve told this story on the blog before, but I think it’s funny and worth telling again—about the time a lady tried to save me at Wendy’s. I was a teenager and wearing cargo shorts. I guess I looked like I needed to be saved. I think cargo shorts are a target that Christians are trained to look for; it’s the number one place where teenagers hide drugs. I was also wearing a Prince t-shirt. Well, he was The Artist Formerly Known As back then. So the shirt had that male/female symbol on it, which probably looked like a Satanist thing to the woman sitting across the restaurant.
I was sitting alone, chowing down on an overcooked and rubbery chicken sandwich, dipping my Biggie Fries in honey mustard, and downing a tub of Coke before I had to go to work. I wiped my grease-smudged fingers with a single yellow napkin. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her, this woman across the restaurant, staring at me.
She was a large woman, dressed in a nautical-colored dress thing which was possibly a muumuu and possibly had leopard spots. She wore glasses and had long mousy hair, and she was coming towards me. She moved across the restaurant in slow motion, her tray of fast food in her hands, her muumuu flowing behind her. At this point, I just had a feeling she was coming to sit with me. I wiped the grease from my mouth, swallowing the last sinful bites of spicy chicken and warmed lettuce. It was a small, two person table. She took the seat across from me. Her tray touched mine.
“I just wanted you to know that God compelled me to come over here. I was just sitting there eating when suddenly God told me to come sit with you. He wants me to tell you he loves you.”
“Thank you,” I said.
What else could I say? We sat across from each other quietly for another moment. And with that, she took her tray and went back to the other side the restaurant, her muumuu swirling around her trunk-sized legs. I shrugged and resumed eating my fries. There were a lot of them left––afterall, they were Biggie-sized. Biggie sizing always seems like a good idea at the time, but in the end, it’s always a very bad choice.
God really must like me, I thought to myself, reaching out to me in this hellhole. One time, I read about a lady who found a tumor in her chicken sandwich. I found Jesus in mine. There was another story about someone who had a chunk of finger in their Fish-a-majig. And then one time, there was somebody who found a diamond ring on their Big Mac—but that’s not gross, that’s just lucky.
Concept: Chocolate Cross
We’ve all seen these before. Chocolate Crosses started popping up all over in the mid-2000s when some genius discovered there was a market for them. They’re controversial even amongst Christians. While the prayer jellybeans and lollipops feel somewhat sincere to me, the chocolate cross feels gross. I’m not even a religious person. But at the same time, it’s gleefully tacky, so I also kind of love it.
I mean, YOU GET TO EAT THE CROSS. You tell me a better way to worship than chomping on the cross to which Jesus was NAILED. So what’s the right way to do it? Just bite in? Or should you show some restraint by breaking pieces off? Maybe it’s a personal thing.
I decided to break it in pieces. I think the most insulting part is the fact that’s it’s not even made with pure ingredients like real chocolate. Real chocolate, after all, is rich and fit for kings. But this cross is made with partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil as its first ingredient. It’s greasy and not good.
Concept: Jesus Egg with Candy Crosses!
How about that adorable cartoon Jesus on the egg? I love it. I’m saving it forever. But shouldn’t Christ be a revered image? Doesn’t this depiction reduce his image to one that’s no better than a cute bunny? I prefer my images of Jesus to be serious and forlorn.
Two words. DEXTROSE CROSSES. These were great. They were like Smarties, only the cross shape provided a great texture/shape on the tongue, which made them better than Smarties.
There was just one thing that disturbed me about the packaging, and it was this warning: CAUTION WASH THOROUGHLY BEFORE USE. Uh, wash what? The tin Jesus egg? Why? Is it sinful? Does it contain toxic lead? Is there even a slight possibility that it contains traces of toxic lead?
In the end, I realize I may be going to hell. But so is Russell Stover. So I’ll be in good company. Eh, maybe I ought to just read the rest of that jelly bean prayer and eat a couple of the white cleansing ones.