I know it might be a little odd, but I place a tremendous amount of importance on how I, as a parent, deal with holidays. If I have somehow failed to measure up to the idea in my head of how nice I’d like say, Easter to be, I will suffer some pretty severe self-recriminations.
I remember last Easter, for example, we happened to be traveling. Our transatlantic flight was scheduled to land the day before Easter, and so Mommy-the-Easter-Bunny spent a superhuman amount of time worrying about portable easter baskets, and trying to find suitably non-fragile, Easter-y items that would fit in her carry-on (can you imagine if Easter didn’t come because American Airlines LOST IT??)
After all my agonizing I was proud of the modest arrangement I managed to concoct on the run and while suffering from a truly harrowing case of jet lag. My ten year old Greta hopped out of bed, surveyed the tiny festive scene, and immediately summed up the situation: “That’s it?”
This year, I’ve been equally worried about what the Easter Bunny may have in store for us, and how it will measure up. After all, what is an Easter basket without CANDY? I keep thinking to myself, wait! Didn’t we just do this? At Valentine’s Day? At Christmas? I was shocked by the not-inconsiderable amount of treats which came home accompanying both my daughters’ brown bags of Valentines this year- and of course we’re not talking Grandma’s brownies here, we’re talking crappy pink lollipops in the shape of Tinkerbell; essentially a chemical oddity on a stick. Since when, I thought, did every Valentine have to come with an ad for the sugar industry- and Disney- attached? Probably it was only a matter of time. I’m fairly certain St.Patrick’s Day Pixie Sticks and Groundhog’s Day gummies will be next.
But after assembling their baskets this evening and putting them out I am cautiously optimistic. No, there are no jellybeans, chocolate bunnies, or Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (my personal favorite). Not a Peep. In fact, there’s not an edible thing in them, although I briefly toyed with the thought of putting some carrots with the green tops hanging down in, just for fun, but thought better of it.
Instead, I have Easter-themed videos, some small, amorphous, but very Springy-looking stuffed animals, sparkly egg ornaments, some pretty Easter Mardi Gras necklaces (thank you Easter Grandma), and a hangman game for them to share. I put all the things out and stood back, almost afraid to look- would it be, somehow, lacking? Would the sugar-less-ness of it all just be too, too obvious, and slightly sad?
But I didn’t think that. The baskets looked perfectly festive and Easter-like, I realized . Thank God.
So I’ve at least passed my own test this No Sugar Easter… I wonder what the kids’ verdict will be.