Saturday, April 11, 2009

"Excuse me, but what's an Easter?"

When did Easter become the new Christmas? When I was a kid, we got an Easter basket full of drugstore chocolate, and jelly beans, and these really cool caramel popcorn bunnies. Each kid got a 1-pound chocolate egg, with filling of choice (mine was always coconut cream), from a little candy store in my town called Duffy’s. And we were allowed to EAT all this crap.

Since we (oh so modern parents) limit the sweets my kids eat, a basket full of chocolate would just be taunting them. I would probably find chocolate-smeared wrappers jammed under the couch cushions (like I used to find Twizzler plastic stuffed down the laundry chute before I wised up and hid the Twizzler box).

Honestly, I wouldn’t even have begun this crazy Easter basket tradition, but my next door neighbor’s kids went on and on about their Easter baskets to my wide-eyed boys, so one Saturday-before-Easter night a few years ago, I made emergency baskets for my (then only) two children – fruit snacks, and Teddy grahams, and some stickers.

This year, hockey cards, and stickers, and new socks (yeah, that’s the way I roll, dudes – but seriously, what do these kids do, gnaw on their socks with their razor-sharp teeth?), and some jelly beans and a few pyramids of Toblerone, and some gel pens and mini notebooks (what did we do before the dollar bins at Target?). And so the ridiculous tradition is upheld.

I don’t mind dyeing eggs – especially since we go to our church to do it. Everyone shows up with their hardboiled eggs, and a few parents deal with dye and stickers and crayons and whatever hot new egg-decorating trend, and at the end of the afternoon, everyone goes home with some eggs and leaves some eggs to be hidden for tomorrow’s egg hunt after the service. With any luck, when a child (and it’s ALWAYS one of mine) overturns a dye pot, it’s onto the linoleum floor and easily mopped up. It’s perfect. (We will be leaving all of our eggs as I am the only one round these parts who will eat hard-boiled eggs. And even I won’t touch the ones that have been sitting outside under the bushes and tucked in tree hollows and manhandled by dozens of snotty-nosed toddlers. Hence, my purchase of four dozen medium size cheap (read: NOT free-range organic) eggs.)

As for Easter finery, *I* will be wearing whatever I can jam my fat ass into. Which probably means the same A-line skirt I wore last year, topped with the same green blouse. Or maybe, my new linen camp shirt from Old Navy (why can’t this shirt come in some other decent colors, like black or dark green?)

As for my kids – my children look like homeless people on the best of days. I doubt we will be trimming their overgrown, rockstar hair this evening. I will be happy if I can get them into decent, collared shirts, and their “nice” shoes (read: fashionable sneaker-y type dress shoes) with a minimum of screaming and tantrums.

And even happier if I can get them to keep those clothes on to go to Grandma’s for Easter dinner.

For which I am making a lemon pound cake.

And taking my knitting along. (I am making this. In purple and lime green and turquoise. For a college friend’s first baby.)

Because the only thing more boring than the “12 Days of Christmas” sing-along we are required to participate in on Christmas Eve? The plastic egg hunt for the kids at Easter dinner.

So, happy Easter to all of you who celebrate it.

Happy Passover to the appropriate people (although, really? Happy? What with the plagues and whatnot, happy is not necessarily the greeting I would choose. IS it Happy? Ah, my friend D to the rescue: Hag Sameyach.)

And as I have decided to begin my own Easter tradition, here: have some David Sedaris: Jesus Shaves.

“The virgin birth, the resurrection, and the countless miracles - my heart expanded to encompass all the wonders and possibilities of the universe.
A bell, though, that's fucked up.”


sueeeus said...

Ha! That David Sedaris guy is funny! If it's any consolation, I was planning to skip the whole Easter basket thing, but guilted myself into it at the last minute (reminiscing over how magical Easter was to me as a child when a basket of candy would be hidden somewhere in my room) and got small storage tote baskets (hey, they're a spring green, anyway) and filled them with clothes (happened to be shopping for them, so why not make them a surprise from the Easter Bunny?), a couple low$ toys, and a token handful of Reese's mini chocolate eggs.

We're doing the plastic egg hunt after family dinner at the SIL's too, only this part isn't boring to me --I like to watch the little kids go berserk over their finds. I got two bags of those pre-decorated and pre-filled eggs from Costco. So the kids will still get gobs of candy.

Badger said...

We've never done egg hunts, except for the one in the park behind our house, which my children are now too old for (the cutoff age is 10) and wouldn't want to do now anyway.

We DO have the full-on chocolate orgy, basket-wise, though. But we don't go to church, so they have all morning to eat it.

Easter is my second-favorite pagan holiday of all time!

Unknown said...

Happy Easter.

Gel pens and mini notebooks? That would have been PERFECT for my sleuthing. Will you adopt me? Please? I come with bonus cute baby!

eurolush said...

So glad my two (14 & 11 1/2) are too old for the Easter egg hunt madness. They're not too old to be total gluttons like their mother, though. The amount of chocolate those two devoured yesterday could easily have fed a small German village for a year. It gives me a stomach ache just thinking about it.

Glad to know we're not the only ones creating a mini-Christmas situation in the Easter baskets...I blame my mother--who totally overindulged us as children. The madness continues...

Jess said...

My roommate was describing, just the other day, how her German class tried to have a conversation about Easter without knowing the right vocabulary, which led to us both saying "two morsels of lumber!" and cracking ourselves up, and then me reading Jesus Shaves out loud. We always appreciate the nod to "Greek Easter" and the discount candy. I just got a church email asking people to "buy candy on sale for the egg hunt next week." And we're not even a Greek parish.

Amelia Plum said...

I put socks in my kids easter baskets as well, it's my substitute for the plastic grass which my cats would eat and then throw up (and they already puke enough as it is). this post is hysterical, I especially like your 'among the mad label' for the post.

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