Casa de Phillips currently resides in an area of the country where weather patterns can shift dramatically in a 24 hour period. As we welcomed the first day of Spring last week, we also welcomed cold rainy weather. This all coincided with the day of our annual neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt.
Saturday morning clouds hung low and eventually let forth a great deal of rain. The kids watched out the windows, making wild assumptions that the rain would stop (it eventually did) and the Easter Egg Hunt would be on later that afternoon (it was not). As a consolation prize, I gave each child a dozen slightly-filled plastic eggs to hide for their sibling (Hello, Lazy Parenting 101!) and they were pacified for a while and worked through all their grief over a missed egg hunt.
Besides, the hunt had been rescheduled for the following afternoon.
Sunday brought with it incredibly cold temperatures and biting gusts of winds so the hunt was once again called off.
That day’s consolation prize was dinner at a local fro-yo place and a trip to the library.
(Let me note for the record that we are not usually the type of parents to offer “consolation” prizes. We usually let things work out as they work out. However, if you want to seem like a really awesome parent take your kids to fro-yo on a random occasion for supper. Our kids could not believe that the only thing we were having for dinner Sunday night was dessert.)
The weather continues to remain a mystery this week as well. We have had cold days and then spots of warmth. As I type this, the heater is currently running at full blast in our home. I keep checking the forecast for this weekend. We all know it is Easter and I am starting to question the wisdom behind purchasing a breezy maxi dress and light cardigan for my daughter to sport at church on Sunday when it most likely will be cold and rainy. And the idea of wearing summer white shoes with a winter coat makes me twitch just a bit.
Speaking of Easter, let me just give a big ol mama sigh right here.
As blogged before, we are starting to tone it down with the holiday hoop-la around here. We have no Elf living on a shelf (and we told our kids the Christmas secret…and Christmas was still incredibly wonderful and magical all the same). There were no toilet bowls dyed green on St. Patty’s day. I do not plan to throw a huge party at the end of the school year (which is tricky when one almost schools year round). When I started to feel the tug to tone things down (I am the one who created a life-sized Little Einstein Rocket for a 3 year old’s birthday party…I needed a tug, people), Easter was the driving force.
As the husband always says, the Easter Bunny did not roll away the stone from the tomb.
As this time approaches, I start to panic and question how we will approach it as a family. There is no Easter Bunny for our kiddos. We have scaled down the whole “give-me-a-toy-because-Jesus-died-and-rose-again-for-our-sins” notion. I do purchase Easter clothing for my children, which they wear all Spring, Summer, and part of the Fall (we live in a warm climate, y’all) until they no longer fit or until it is time to haul out the Christmas clothing. My kids have never dyed Easter eggs (this has nothing to do with philosophy and has everything to do with the fact that organic, cage free eggs are expensive and I have trouble eating pastel colored food.).
Easter is quickly approaching and the children and I have taken moments to discuss what that means. I have also discussed that despite the fact that the country’s largest toy store is advertising fantastic Easter toy deals there will be no Easter toys distributed at our home.
This leads me into the dilemma of the Easter basket. I am pretty sure when Mary and Martha visited the tomb there was no ornately decorated straw basket filled with goodies waiting for them. I know the Easter basket is part of our culture. Sometimes I fear if I completely take away cultural things, then my children will completely go the opposite direction as adults due to a feeling of deprivation as a child (I guess this would look like being on “Extreme Easter Gone Wild”???). Then I feel guilty for parenting by fear rather than by grace. It is the whole “If you give a Mouse a cookie scenario”.
Jen Hatmaker said in a blog this week: “. I daresay the American response to Easter is insulting, devastating even.”
Which leads me back to feeling convicted about the whole Easter basket situation. I do not want my children expecting something at every major/minor holiday. I do not want our religious observance of Grace to be overshadowed by the newest LEGO set.
My solution (which I acknowledge is not great) this year is to put two books and a book light in each kids basket (again we avoid the chocolate). One book is a fun book (Evelyn’s is here and Isaac’s is here) while the other book is a devotional book for each of them.
The book light is merely because both are needing a new book light. I am resourceful like that.
How do you handle Easter at your home? Do you fill baskets? Does the Easter Bunny and Jesus both find a place in your house or are you shying away from cultural observances of this religious holiday?