So I’m not very fond of Easter — if Easter had a Grinch, like Christmas does, it might be me. Usually, I’m the world’s most sentimental parent when it comes to holidays and family memories. But Easter . . . not so much.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not talking about the religious part of Easter. I love Jesus, I celebrate the resurrection. All that, I’m down with. I write plays about that kind of thing. But the whole Easter-bunny-slash-egg hunt element just kills me.
First, there’s the plague of Easter grass. I’m pretty sure that the person who invented Easter grass, and suggested that it belongs in baskets given to small children, had mommy issues. Issues of the let’s-torment-all-future-mothers kind. I do not buy Easter grass, but still, somehow, Easter grass ends up in my house, all over my house, every year. It’s like having a pom-pom that sheds constantly and tries to choke your vacuum to death all spring. And a lady at the Humane Society once told me it’s a choking hazard to puppies. Further proof: Easter grass is evil.
Then, there’s the Cadbury egg issue. 8,576 calories per bite. Do the kids eat them? No. Can I resist them? No comment.
That leads me to Easter candy. Every Easter, I have just finished secretly throwing away all of my kids’ leftover Valentine’s and Halloween candy (yes, I said Halloween candy), and along comes Easter — another excuse to foist unwanted candy on innocent, sugar-addicted children and their beleaguered mothers. And what is the deal with Peeps? It’s like candy makers sat around plotting: “How can we inject the most sugar possible into children’s bodies at once, and rot two of their teeth within five minutes?Sugar-coated marshmallows disguised as adorable chicks? YES!”
Then we have to dye Easter eggs. In pictures on social media, this looks like such a pleasant activity to do with children. But in reality . . . we have children tussling over hard boiled eggs and vinegar-scented, brightly colored dye that never, ever comes out of clothes once it splatters. What could possibly go wrong?!
And don’t get me started on Easter egg hunts. In the mind’s eye, they evoke sweet, Norman Rockwell-type imagery, and a flood of warm-fuzzy feelings. “Let’s all go hide brightly colored eggs in the grass and send elegantly dressed children out to collect them in pretty baskets!” Sounds photo-worthy, right? Sounds like innocent, old-fashioned, good-spirited fun, right? A lovely way to spend a cool spring morning, right? HA.
First, it will invariably rain on the day before an Easter egg hunt, so those gorgeous dresses that cost seventy dollars apiece will end up coated in mud. Second — please tell me this doesn’t just happen in my family — the children all end up in tears at the end of Easter egg hunts. “He got more eggs than me!” “Why didn’t I find the golden egg?” “I found that egg but some big kid pushed me out of the way and got there first!” And on and on it goes, a merry-go-round of misery.
Plus, by the time you have multiple children who attend multiple egg hunts at church and school, you will be required to assemble 846 eggs per child per year. And your children will count the eggs you contribute, expecting to return home with exactly the same number. As I type this sentence, my older girls are in the other room, assembling eggs. The two year old is shrieking, demanding candy. I could rest my case right there, but . . .
Then there’s the Easter Bunny. Oh, the Easter Bunny. I’m pretty sure some cruel soul — possibly one of the brothers Grimm—invented this concept as away of terrifying small children. “Hey kids, tonight when you go to sleep, a gigantic overgrown rabbit with huge buck teeth and scary red eyes is going to break into your house and leave you baskets full of hard boiled eggs that you have to eat even though you hate them!”
Our local mall has a Take-Your-Picture-With-the-Easter-Bunny thing, and the Easter Bunny costume is TERRIFYING. I have even seen grown men running away from him, screaming. Never once have I considered torturing my kids with a picture-taking visit to that bunny. We all have a silent pact when we go to the mall in springtime: Walk a wide circle around the bunny. Do not make eye contact with the bunny. Maybe then he won’t flash his scary buck teeth and wave his gigantic white-gloved hands at us. If anything, though, that bunny has given me an idea for parental leverage: “If you kids don’t start acting right, I’m going to make you go see the Easter Bunny!” “No, Mommy, noooooo! Not the Easter Bunny! We’ll be good, we promise!”
Plus there’s the fact that the Easter Bunny kind of ruins Santa. The Santa idea, kids can buy for many years. But an overgrown Easter Bunny, hopping around without a sleigh or elves or any sort of assembly or delivery system, delivering baskets of eggs and goodies to all the children of the world? Come on. It’s too much to swallow, even for a five-year-old. But Santa and the Easter Bunny are kind of a package deal, so . . . reject one, you reject them both. Childhood innocence, squandered. Sigh.
But this Easter, you won’t see me complain. For the sake of my dye-eager, sugar-loving children and their precious childhood memories, I’ll banish my inner Easter Grinch, put my brave face on, and give it my best shot. We’ll spill dye on the carpet while the children paint their eggs. The Easter Bunny will show up to haunt their dreams and fill their baskets. If they’re really good, he might even bring a little Easter grass.
PIN IT FOR LATER:
This post was written by Elizabeth Laing Thompson exclusively for BonBon Break Media, LLC.