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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Our Easter Tradition

When my kids got old enough to KNOW and remember Easter from year to year, I realized I did NOT want to give them baskets overflowing with candy. I mean, when we were kids, candy was a novelty, and we only got it on rare occasions. My mom literally let us have one piece of Halloween or Easter candy a day, so it always lasted FOREVER, but other than that, we never had candy. Now, the kids get sweets every place they go. Even an hour long gathering involves food-usually the sweet kind. Add in snacks for sports events, clubs, Bible Study, church, birthdays, and well, they seem to have more candy than real food available to them some days.

So we decided to change up Easter. Yes, they still get baskets, but they have minimal amounts of candy in them-just enough to say it's there. Along the lines of 10 jelly beans, 5 malted eggs, a few kisses, and a CHEAP hallow bunny (or this year a milky way bunny that is 3" tall and 1/4" thick). BUT, in the end this holiday is second only to Christmas in our house. Why? Well, because in lieu of hidden eggs or baskets, we have an Easter scavenger hunt. For Easter, the kids get those "stocking stuffer" type gifts that are summer appropriate. This year they are all getting sunglasses and new pool goggles (the straps on last summers have disintegrated), and individually they are getting sidewalk chalk, a jump rope, a frisbee, and plastic golf balls. They are also getting one fun thing-for the boys, a large basketball game-(the kind with real, but smaller than normal, balls and hoops that you shoot at and it has a ramp that returns the balls to you-it was $15 at Target marked down from $60 for Christmas) and littlest pet shop critters for the girls. I write clues, and they follow them to find their gifts and basket. Here are this year's clues:

It’s awfully hot in the Florida sun.
You need to wear these when you’re out having fun.
So to find these fancy “shades” don’t go too far,
look in a place that’s as COOL as you are. (sunglasses hidden in the fridge)

You need these for one “class” in school.
They keep your eyes dry when you’re in the pool.
But if you wear them around town, you might get funny looks.
To find them, look where you keep your school books. (pool goggles hidden in their lockers)

These next gifts are sure to delight.
You’ll need to play with them TOGETHER and not ever fight :-).
So all of you go to the back hallway floor-
Girls and boys find your gifts behind two different doors. (the basketball game/littlest pet shop)

One last thing to find this year .
Can you guess? It’s your BASKETS, so have no fear.
Be careful as you walk so you don’t stub your toes…
the baskets are hidden where we wash our clothes.

It's not award winning poetry, but they LOVE it, and even went to bed early tonight-at their insistence-so that they could be well rested for the hunt in the morning. And the "gifts" are mostly things they need and I would be buying anyway. It's also a great way to give them things you might have picked up over the past few months just waiting for the right time to give it to them (like clothes you bought on clearance or Usborne books, etc.).
So that's what we do, and now I need to go get the clues off the printer, and hide them and the gifts for the morning.

Happy Easter, Y'all. He IS risen!
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Anonymous said...

See here or here

Steph said...

TOTALLY cute!!! :)

crispy said...

I agree on the sweets. I feel like they are everywhere and they are not special anymore. I fill the eggs with some sweets, but also goldfish crackers and dry cereal and pretzels...

He is Risen!!!

Randi said...

Sounds like so much fun!