Now that is Some Bunny!

  • March 30, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
Now, That is SOME Bunny!

It’s an annual phenomenon.  When spring arrives, so do the bunnies.  Just take a look around, because even if you’ve somehow managed to turn a blind eye to the whole bunny situation, once you stop and take notice you can’t miss it.  There are bunnies everywhere. 

Depending on where you live, at this is the time of the year there are plenty of real live, furry friends out there, just hopping around.  And what you don’t see today will probably be hare tomorrow.  Once impregnated, the rabbit gestational period is only about thirty days and each bunny litter can produce up to 14 baby bunnies.  And do you suppose that’s the end of it? Well, not exactly.  A female bunny can become pregnant again within just minutes of giving birth.  There is a good reason this amazing animal has become the ultimate symbol of new life, fertility and spring.  If you take one mama bunny and all the bambinos of her subsequent offspring, within a seven-year period there is the reproductive potential of producing 184,597,433,860 rabbits!  Now you know exactly why when someone makes the comment, “multiplying like rabbits,” they are not kidding!

In spite of the rapidly increasing bunny population, some bunnies are just more popular and special than others.  Many holidays have an animal associated with them, and Easter has quite a few. But mostly, Easter is all about the bunny.  Here is our list of the most famous bunnies out there!   

•    The Energizer Bunny. He just keeps on going, and going.  In fact, wherever he is right now, he’s likely…still…going.

•    Rabbit. (Winnie the Pooh’s BFF)-Like Madonna or Cher, this hare only needs the name “Rabbit” to bring him his share of fame. 

•    Thumper.  Okay, let’s have a collective awwwww! Bambi’s pal Thumper just has to be one of the most adorable bunnies out there.  Enough said.

•    Peter Rabbit.  Imagined by Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit and friends became notorious for creating havoc in Mr. McGregor’s garden.

•    White Rabbit.  The story of Alice in Wonderland begins with Alice curiously chasing after this tardy little hare--he was running late then and likely still is today.

•    Playboy Bunny.  These bunnies and the whole sexy thing go hand in hand.  C’mon.  You know what we mean.

•    The Velveteen Rabbit.  A classic children’s book favorite since 1922.

•    Roger Rabbit.  Disney debuted this ‘toon character in the film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” back in 1988.

•    Bugs Bunny.  Created in 1940, Bugs is likely one of the most famous rabbits ever imagined.  “What’s Up, Doc?”  He’s a real wascal, this one. 

•    Trix Silly Rabbit.  Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!  This rabbit has been mischievously grinning on the front of cereal boxes since 1954. 

•    Peter Cottontail.  A true Easter favorite, Peter has been featured in a television special and in a pretty groovy song written just about him.

•    The Easter Bunny.  Likely the most famous bunny of all, the legendary Easter Bunny traditionally brings Easter Eggs and candy to good girls and boys at Easter time. 

Now there’s a few hare-raising things for you to get totally eggs-cited about!

Happy Easter from your friends at Halloween Express!

Now that is Some Bunny!

12 Fun Facts to Make You an Easter Eggs-pert

  • March 22, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
12 Fun Filled Facts about Easter

The Glory of Easter:  Easter is the oldest and most important of all the Christian holidays.  Easter time commemorates and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Because of the many Easter traditions that are enjoyed on a more secular basis, Easter has also been jubilantly embraced by the masses. 

Hot Chicks!  Easter may have gotten its name from Eostre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of springtime and fertility.  Before Christianity ever came to Europe, annual spring festivals were held in honor of this legendary goddess. 

You Crack Me Up:  The exchanging of eggs has been a springtime custom that even pre-dates Easter.  For centuries, the egg has represented rebirth and new life.  Christians were quick to adopt the egg as a representation of Easter and the resurrection, making the egg the perfect Easter symbol!

A Good Hare Day:  The first literary mention of an Easter Bunny that would hide eggs in the garden was in a book published way back in 1680! The legend of the Easter Bunny eventually made its way to America via German immigrants who settled in the Pennsylvania Dutch communities during the eighteenth century.

Another Eggcuse for Chocolate:  Over 70% of all Easter candy is made from delicious chocolate.  Didn’t Easter just get that much better?

Color Me Happy:  The tradition of dyeing Easter Eggs is centuries old.  In ancient days, dyes to color eggs were created by using onion skins, various juices, tree bark, and flowers.

The Ears are the Best Part:  Each year, over 90 million chocolate bunny rabbits are sold to consumers for Easter.  76% of people believe that proper chocolate bunny eating protocol requires you to eat the ears first.

Easter Hoppenings:  Each year, the White House Egg Roll has been held on the White House grounds with the President and his family.  Rutherford B. Hayes began this tradition in 1878.

For Peeps Sake!  Americans purchase over 700 million marshmallow “Peeps” for Easter each year.  “Peeps” are the most popular non-chocolate Easter Candy.

24 Carrot Holiday:  Americans will spend 14.7 billion dollars for Easter, with the average American household spending about 130 dollars to celebrate the holiday. Americans will spend 1.9 billion dollars on Easter candy alone.

Easter Munch:  Easter Sunday officially ends the 40-day period of fasting known as Lent.  Although traditionally Lent had many different restrictions on food, nowadays those that participate will just give up one significant indulgence.

Jelly Beans on Top!  Boston candy maker, William Schraft, created the legendary confection known as jellybeans.  In the 1800’s, Mr. Schraft encouraged folks to buy these sugary beans and send them to soldiers who were then fighting in the Civil War.  Decades later, the jellybean’s egg-like shape was noted, and they have since become a very popular Easter candy.

This Easter, may your good times multiply like rabbits!  Hoppy Easter from your friends at Halloween Express!
12 Fun Facts to Make You an Easter Eggs-pert

St. Patrick’s Day: What Your Good Luck Charms Really Mean

  • March 13, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell

St. Patrick’s Day: What Your Good Luck Charms Really MeanIn the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, today’s topic is all about good luck. Now, everyone knows what a good luck charm is, right? St. Patrick’s Day has all sorts of lucky things that go with it--from that little green leprechaun running around to that four leaf clover you might even have pinned to your lapel.  Have you ever wondered why certain items are supposed to make you luckier?  How did such silly (and sometimes strange) things become part of the pathway to happiness? Here’s the simple scoop on some of the things you probably think are lucky!

Horseshoe: Centuries ago, the horseshoe became an important talisman that represented good fortune.  In ancient days, it was thought that the horseshoe was powerful enough to ward off evil spirits and to keep malicious goblins or mischievous fairies at bay.  The horseshoe, crafted with the lucky elements of iron and fire, associated the blacksmith with very good luck as well. Hanging a horseshoe in the doorway of one’s home with the ends facing upward was thought to create a symbolic receptacle that would hold good fortune and happiness.  Hanging a horseshoe with the ends facing downward meant all good luck and prosperity would escape. 

Four Leaf Clover:  The good luck associated with the four-leaf clover goes way back into history.  The ancient Druids believed that carrying a four leaf clover would provide magical power.  In fact, even the more basic three-leafed shamrock was considered to be fortuitous, although to a lesser extent.  Legend states that each leaf of the four-leaf clover represents one element of luck: wealth, health, love, and fame. Finding a four-leaf clover is not easy because they are extremely rare. For every 10,000 three-leaf clovers, there is but one four-leaf clover, thus finding one is supremely lucky, indeed! 

Rainbow:  Irish legends teach that the mysterious leprechaun uses the rainbow as a clever way of marking where he has hidden his pot of gold.  Thus, rainbows and good luck go hand in hand, particularly on St. Patrick’s Day.  Big dreamers are sometimes accused of “chasing rainbows” because they seem to have very unrealistic or completely impractical ideas.  Many folks would categorize looking for leprechauns, rainbows, or even a pot of gold as a frivolous waste of time. 

Rabbit’s Foot:  Rabbits have long been a symbol of fertility and springtime.  The rabbit can reproduce very prolifically, and the bunny typically gives birth during the spring.  Carrying around a rabbit’s foot to increase one’s fertility was a common practice long before the rabbit’s foot became associated with more generalized good luck. 

The Penny:  Some people think that if you see a penny lying on the ground with the head side up, you should pick it up, as it will bring good luck.  If the penny is tails side up, the penny should be turned over for another person to retrieve later.  Some folks feel that any old penny needs to be picked up, regardless of how it lands.  Perhaps you remember learning this rhyme as a kid: “Find a penny, pick it up.  All day long, you’ll have good luck!” 

Wishbone:  Once again, you have to go deep into ancient history to find the origin of the wishbone and its association with good luck. Over 2400 years ago, the ancient Etruscan people believed that chickens and fowls could be used to predict the future.  When a chicken was eaten, the collarbone was thought to be sacred, so it was saved and left to dry in the sun.   The locals would hold onto this bone and simultaneously make a wish.  The bone was then thought to use some magic to make the wish come true.  The modern day breaking of the wishbone is believed to have stemmed from this ancient practice.

Lady Bug:  Some insects aren’t necessarily fun to have buzzing around, but the ladybug has quite a different reputation.  If a ladybug lands on you that is usually considered to be very lucky.  This positive association with the ladybug is likely because this cute little insect has long been a gardener’s best friend, as it eats many pests that are considered to be harmful to crops.  Having ladybugs in your garden is a very efficient method of keeping a garden healthy.

The Number Seven:  The number seven has always been considered a lucky number.  There are numerous theories as to why the number seven may have become so special.  There are seven stages of life.  There are seven colors in a rainbow.  There are seven days in a week, seven seas, and even seven continents.  Whatever the reason, when it comes to good luck, the number seven seems to reign supreme.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your very lucky friends at Halloween Express!

St. Patrick’s Day:  What Your Good Luck Charms Really Mean

What We Can Learn About Life From Cinderella

  • March 08, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
Cinderella The Movie

The wait is finally over. This week, Disney’s new live-action film recreating the classic story of Cinderella will be in theatres.  What is about this beloved fairy tale that completely captivates us? Well, aside from the awesome Cinderella costumes, Cinderella’s story has its share of magic, but there is plenty more to this girl than just a little “bibbity bobbity boo.”  When it comes to life, this classy gal seems to have things pretty much under control.

Grace Under Pressure.  Life isn’t fair--even in fairy tales.  Life has dealt Cinderella pretty lousy cards. First, her dad falls in love and marries a rather crazy and manipulative woman.  Soon after the union, Cinderella’s father dies, putting Cinderella’s welfare smack in the hands of this truly evil new stepmother.  These are life-changing circumstances for poor Cinderella.   Instead of crumbling, however, Cinderella accepts her plight and is determined to remain hopeful. 

Attitude is Everything.  When things go wrong, it’s easy to want to have a pity party.  Cinderella manages to stay positive, in spite of the fact that she is essentially forced to be a servant to her nasty stepmother and her two very bratty and spoiled stepsisters.  Instead of allowing their bitter attitudes to fill her with animosity, Cinderella manages to remain upbeat and even cheerful.

Hard Work is Therapeutic.  Cinderella is proof that hard work can sometimes be a very effective panacea for sadness.  Cinderella not only stays industrious, but she also never complains about her terrible plight.  Having a strong work ethic, staying busy and maintaining a good attitude all help Cinderella get through her long days--with a smile on her face, to boot.

Leave Jealousy at the Door.  Cinderella does not become jealous or even envious when her stepmother and stepsisters are living lavishly, even though she is forced to serve them. Instead of being spiteful, Cinderella manages to stay hopeful and optimistic, even at times appearing to be happier in her drudgery than her stepsisters are in their lives of luxury. 

Even the Impossible Becomes Possible.  After Cinderella’s stepmother cruelly tells her that she cannot go to the royal ball, Cinderella is still not hopeless.  At this point, Cinderella’s fairy godmother unexpectedly steps in and turns things around for Cinderella.  Sometimes there is hope found even in the darkest and most dire circumstances.

Make the Most of Every Moment.  Yes, Cinderella is on a tight timeline while she is attending the royal ball.  Although she knows her time is very limited, and she must watch the clock carefully, Cinderella somehow doesn’t let this fact deter her from having a good time.  Cinderella lives each moment and makes each of them count.  When it was her time to shine, Cinderella embraced her opportunity fearlessly.

Stay Humble and Follow The Rules.  After having an amazing time at the royal ball, Cinderella bolts out of the palace at midnight according to the directions of her fairy godmother.  She is fully expecting to go back to her terrible life and has no idea that Prince Charming will attempt to find her.  Cinderella has zero expectations and remains humble.

We think Cinderella is AWESOME.  She is not one of those passive fairy tale heroines that goes and falls to sleep, only to wait for the kiss of true love to rescue her.  Cinderella proves once and for all that hard work, a good attitude and making the best of every situation can reap great results.  Keep your head up, princess--otherwise, the crown just falls off. 

Cinderella, in theatres March 13, 2015.

What We Can Learn About Life From Cinderella

No More Blarney: The Truth About St. Patrick

  • March 01, 2015
  • Jenna Maxwell
No More Blarney

If you are like most folks, when you think of St. Patrick’s Day, you may think of shamrocks, green things and maybe even some corned beef and beer.  We’re here to set the record straight, however, and give you the legit scoop on the beloved Saint Patrick, as well as the holiday that is duly named in his honor.

St. Patrick was not Irish.  Say what????  Of all things you’d think St. Patrick definitely was, Irish would be the numero uno, right?  Although St. Patrick spent most of his adult life preaching Christianity to the pagan people of Ireland, his parents were actually citizens of Rome, and he likely grew up in Scotland or Wales.

March 17 is not St. Patrick’s Birthday.   Most of the time, holidays that honor a specific individual are celebrated on the birthday of the honoree.  In the instance of St. Patrick’s Day, however, March 17 is the date that marks St. Patrick’s death, not the date of his birth.

St. Patrick spent much of his youth as a slave.  When St. Patrick was but a lad, he was taken prisoner by some Irish ruffians and then subsequently sold into slavery.  For several years, St. Patrick was forced to herd sheep and work hard labor in the frigid fields of the Irish countryside.  Interestingly enough, the experiences he had while being held in captivity may have been what turned his heart toward religion.

The Shamrock is not the symbol of Ireland.  Irish legend teaches that St. Patrick used the shamrock to illustrate the concept of the Trinity.  The plant was used to show people how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could be separate, yet still be considered one and the same.  Since medieval times, Ireland has most often been represented by the symbol of an Irish harp, not the shamrock.

St. Patrick did not eliminate all snakes from Ireland.  The truth is; there is no evidence that there ever were any snakes living in Ireland.  The climate on the Emerald Isle is far too cold for snakes to survive.  Many scholars believe that the legend of the snakes being driven from Ireland by St. Patrick is purely symbolic.  Historically, evil and wickedness are often depicted in the form of snakes, thus any reference to snakes is most likely a figurative one.

St. Patrick and Leprehauns. Despite what some may say, there is no real or direct connection between St. Patrick and the elusive, playful leprechaun. As the celebration of St. Patrick's Day has become more and more popular among the masses, many symbols of the Irish have all sort been lumped together and used as part of the celebrating this favorite Irish holiday.

St. Patrick’s traditional color is blue.  In ancient artwork, St. Patrick is almost always depicted wearing blue robes.  Historically, as far back as Henry the VIII, the color blue, used in conjunction with a golden Irish harp, has represented Ireland on various flags, Irish symbols and other coats of arms.  Over time, because Ireland’s countryside is known for being extremely lush and green, Ireland became nicknamed the Emerald Isle.  The color green eventually became the hue most commonly associated with Ireland and St. Patrick as well. 

There are more Irish in the U.S. than in Ireland.  Well…almost.  There are approximately 34 million folks in the United States that can boast having Irish ancestry.  There are only 4.2 million people living in Ireland today.  Many Irish immigrants flooded into the United States during the infamous Irish potato famine that lasted from 1845-1852.  These industrious Irish immigrants came to the states and sought positions as railroad workers, factory workers or some even went into the military.

St. Patrick’s Day used to be a religious and political observance.  St. Patrick’s Day has always been a religious observance, honoring the life of a Saint that was very important to the Irish people.  Additionally, St. Patrick’s Day has also had its roots deep in politics.  Historically, Irish folks were treated very harshly and were heavily discriminated against when they first came to the United States.  The Irish were a unique group of people with many peculiar parts to their culture.  Irish folks found ways to fight against this discrimination by organizing themselves in an effort to combat the many injustices that they faced in those early days.  St. Patrick’s day became a holiday that was often used to voice their many social and political viewpoints.

No Drinking was allowed on St. Patrick’s Day.  Until 1970, St. Patrick’s Day was considered a religious observance, thus drinking was not a part of the celebration.  In fact, most pubs and bars were closed in observance of the popular holiday.  This “dry” feature to St. Patrick’s Day was observed from 1903 until 1970, at which time the law surrounding St. Patrick’s Day was changed and the holiday was then reclassified.  Today, drinking and St. Patrick’s Day have become hopelessly intertwined. A cold glass of Guinness or a celebratory mug of honorary green brew is all part of St. Patrick’s Day tradition.  Cheers! 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your friends at Halloween Express!