Easter Traditions

In a bid for us to eat more healthfully, I cut added sugar from my family’s diet a few weeks ago.  So where does that leave Easter?  I thought about getting the kids sugar-free candy, but that’s never quite as good as the real stuff, and in quantities that are indulgent (as the Easter Bunny likes to be), the sugar alcohols in sugar-free candy can cause pretty significant intestinal discomfort.  So I got them real, sugar-laden candy, but only in a quantity I think they’ll eat in one day.  Actually, this is more in keeping with what I used to do when it was just my daughter and me (and when she was toddler–preschool age, the small amount of candy I gave her was all sugar-free).  But somewhere along the line, holidays became a lot more of a junkfest.  I’m still trying to shake off feeling like the Easter equivalent of Scrooge, but I know this is better for them.

To prolong and enhance the candy portion of today’s festivities, I hid a dozen eggs for each of them (colored for my daughter, basketball-shaped for my son).  Inside each egg is a small amount of candy (a couple of sour jellybeans for my son, and a couple of Smarties for my daughter, according to their tastes) and a letter printed on a small square of paper.  Once they find all their eggs, they can solve the riddle of their letters, which spell out the name of a small gift (“Movie Tickets” for my son, and “Barbie Clothes” for my daughter).  They don’t get the gift until they figure out what it is!  And at the same time, I’ll also give them the rest of their small booty of candy.

Coincidentally, both kids spent last night away.  My daughter went off with my sister for the day yesterday, and my son went to a birthday party, and they both eventually called to ask if they could spend the night at their respective locations.  Ironically enough, they’ve probably both been off eating all kinds of junk, so my efforts to have a “sane” holiday will probably be only symbolic.

Tonight, I’m hoping to watch The Ten Commandments with them.  It came on TV last night, but I have it on DVD.  When I was a kid, it was a big, big deal to watch it every year (while eating our chocolate rabbits).  I always loved the music, and that creeping green smoke (the Angel of Death) was one of the scariest things I’d ever seen.  Even now, 55 years after it was made, I think it’s a compelling-enough movie to still hold the attention of kids who were raised on CGI special effects. 

Now, please excuse me while I go eat a Snickers egg.

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