It started out innocently enough. I thought it would be a good idea to make an Easter basket for Bonaparte to give to his granddaughter. I miss the days when my own children were young and I would put extreme care into the contents of each of their baskets.
I would make sure that each of them had a different color basket so as not to cause any confusion. Each child received a very large chocolate bunny. I would stuff plastic eggs with various little chocolates. Also sitting upon the annoying plastic green grass would be smaller bunnies, little chicks wrapped in foil and surrounding the chocolate animals would be foil covered chocolate eggs. In keeping with the religious aspect of Easter, each child would have a chocolate cross in their Easter basket too.
My kids ate their Easter Bunnies made of the waxiest chocolate I could find. And I joyously helped them devour those cute little bunnies and chicks and any other chocolate that could be found.
That’s right! My kids ate the Easter Bunny and I helped! I’m kissing you now, and tomorrow I’ll be eating you!
And so, my mission was to fill a basket filled with Bunnies and a cross and all candies chocolate that I could gather so that Bonaparte’s granddaughter could partake in the same ritual that my children enjoyed.
It was the same ritual my siblings and I repeated year after year on Easter Sunday.
We ate candy all day. We would stop to have dinner, but were usually full from all the candy that we consumed beforehand. Then we would polish the rest of the candy off later in the day.
Two great candy days a year. Easter and Halloween.
This was a thrilling little project for me. Since my kids are now grown, I could make another child glow with delight at the amount of processed cocoa and sugar that was about to be bestowed upon her—and ingested into her six-year-old body!
I noticed something incredibly odd upon arrival at Walmart. Shelves of Easter baskets galore in front of me.
I thought it especially odd since it was four days before Easter and there seemed to be a surplus of baskets!
But I didn’t see candy!
Also on the shelves were boxes embellished with the words “Basket Stuffers”. In these boxes were tacky little games, stuffed bunnies and baby chicks and other little toys.
But no candy.
I saw in another aisle tons of plastic eggs that one would fill with little candy. But where was the damned candy???
Mouth rinse for children in bubblegum flavor was on the shelves—but no candy was to be found!
WTF? Kids don’t want THIS is their Easter baskets! What is going on?
Finally, I spotted bags of pastel colored M & M’s and foil covered chocolate eggs, but where were the chocolate bunnies and chocolate crosses.
As a Walmart staffer approached, I asked where all the good Easter candy was. He explained that people are buying toys and other items for Easter instead of candy. He further explained that the Easter candy was now placed in the grocery department.
Then I thought about what an awful, horrible, abusive mommy I must have been.
Preparing for Easter meant buying dozens of eggs to hard boil and dye. My kids invited their friends to the house and we would have a dye party. The parties were routine. I would place the dyes on the kitchen island, have the eggs at the ready and a house full of kids would start dipping and spilling.
Usually ten minutes later they would be bored and would find other activities. I would be left to finish the dye job—and it was fun! One year I bought a bunch of inexpensive white tee shirts and let all the kids tie dye the shirts with the remaining egg color! My mad mommy ways were certainly awful!
Oh yes. And my horrible mommy ways got worse. Because I allowed them to eat every bit of candy in the baskets. If they wanted to eat it all on Easter Sunday, so be it. School was closed the next day so if they got sick it was no big deal.
Sugar rush? Yeah. But my children also ate three full meals a day. Exceptions being Christmas when you just eat all day, birthdays when you eat what you want—and then have a shitload of cake, Halloween, when pizza is the healthiest thing you consume before OD’ing on the candy you receive from door-to-door begging, and, of course, Easter.
Back to the shopping. When I arrived in the grocery area I was shocked at the amount of candy that hadn’t been purchased. And it was four days before Easter. I can remember having to buy candy weeks before Easter in fear that the supplies would be wiped out. And here there was an overabundance.
I managed to pick up quite a bit of candy—and some for me. And, added a box of colored pencils and a drawing pad because Bonaparte’s granddaughter loves to draw.
I managed to find the candy, but I’ll tell you, the selection wasn’t that great. I had to hunt down chocolate bunnies!
I also picked up some colored pencils and a sketch pad–which is appropriate. Save the big stuff for Christmas!
Further errands had me going to Target. On a whim, I decided to do some candy sleuthing. Same thing. Easter’s candy was tucked away in the grocery area with shelves full of candy that went ignored.
What happened to Easter? Look. I get that it’s an important religious day. It’s the day that my buddy, Hipster Jesus rose from the dead. It is also the day when you can stop those forty days of Lenten sacrifice. And what better way to end that fast than by consuming mass quantities of sweet, luxurious chocolate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate. It’s all good!
Now we have toys and other objects as “basket stuffers”. What happens when those toys aren’t good enough or expensive enough or big enough? Is Easter going to turn into an excessive gifting holiday similar to Christmas?
I’m glad that I had my children when I did. I’m glad I am of the generation that didn’t look at a chocolate bunny as something bad and unhealthy. I’m glad to have allowed my kids to taste and appreciate those chocolate bunnies the way a fine connoisseur of food would have dined on Paul Bocuse’s “Hare a la Royale”
Are parents these days so politically correct and coddling of their offspring that they are afraid to traumatize their children into thinking they will be eating Peter Cottontail?
He isn’t real! He’s make believe. It’s OK to eat a chocolate bunny–Peter Cottontail said so!
I’m especially glad that I was a bad mommy at Easter time. I allowed them to indulge. They didn’t get a mouthful of cavities, nor did they become obese. They celebrated a tradition and had fun. And moreso, I did too!
This is MY hidden stash. I don’t like the way the chocolate bunny on the left is eyeballing my M & M’s and Robin’s Eggs! I’ll have to eat him first!
Regardless–candy or not. Go out and enjoy this weekend! Happy Easter all!