I don't remember what I ever got for Easter! I've tried really hard the past few days to think back and try to recall what the Bunny ever brought me in my basket that was a toy. I'm not trying to disrespect the Easter Bunny. I have a bad memory to begin with when it comes to these things so it could be forgivable, but I know I can recall with 100% clarity what the guy with the White Beard brought me a time or two (thanks for the Cabbage Patch Horse and white leather jacket with Fringe)...but Easter? Nada.
I know he usually brought me a toy, a small gift, and little chatchkis of some kind but my memory escapes me. What I do know is that every year without fail he brought me a large chocolate egg with my name beautifully written on the top in cursive, Peeps, and a lot of other candy, but I can NOT remember a single specific gift minus a stuffed bunny and a cabbage patch doll...and that is only because I saw pictures recently of the year that took place.
I remember getting a new dress and getting 'dressed' up for church a little more than normal. I imagine it involved putting sponge curlers in my hair the night before. I got to wear little Easter hats that were so cute. My Mom scores points for those efforts. Looking at these pictures I only hope that if I ever have a girl I'll have the mind to put as much thought and effort into her Easter dress.....and for sure let her wear hats.
I visualize my Father perfectly dressed up as Jesus with a glued on beard for a church reenactment. He wore a robe and I'm fairly certain he carried a cross. I remember thinking how awesome it was that my Dad was Jesus and thinking how much he kinda looked like Jesus at the time (because clearly I knew). I sat a little taller in Sunday School that day.
Why is this important? Well, last week I was one of many who read the post entitled "Let's bring the holidays down a notch" on Rage Against the Minivan (read it if you haven't). It's a good read and it bothers me that I can already relate and my kid is only in Preschool. The post itself was more about how schools are making every holiday a huge occasion and it creates more pressure for the parents. We can't possibly live up to these expectations. Well, I've noticed something a little different. Lately when Easter comes up around the Lil' Fella it revolves around "What the Easter Bunny is bringing" and he knows with absolute certainty that he wants this god awful, overpriced and large Ogre toy that will get tossed to back of the toy box in a few weeks...a faint memory. It all revolves around the toy and yet I can't recall a single toy I ever received. I just want him to be excited for the Easter Egg Hunts, Church, a new tie. It's our fault of course...like many parents the Bunny has become a bribing mechanism of sorts that you pull out of your back pocket in those moments of desperation; "You better go to sleep or the Easter Bunny won't bring you anything". "The Easter Bunny only brings baskets to little boys who listen". "I'm serious. You don't want me to call the Easter Bunny right?" And you know what? He bought it! It works. But I realize that I am setting him and us up for a big disappointment. We can't possibly keep this up. I can't keep dangling this carrot in front of him (pun intended).
Let's face it. When he is 12 the Bunny will NOT be bringing an IPhone or a PlayStation. The "stuff" has become the emphasis and it makes me sad. The same can be said for Christmas frankly.
In an effort to turn this around, I spent the better part of yesterday working on crafts with the Lil' Fella determined to do something productive that didn't involve watching "The Dinosaur Train" (and crafting really isn't my forte). We would do crafts that were all about Easter. We made the paper plate Easter Bunny face with cotton balls because it's cute and easy, but we spent the majority of our time on a craft creating crosses. I desperately tried to ingrain in his mind what Easter is about...that the Easter Bunny is only a part of the puzzle, that God and Jesus are the starring attraction. Difficult conversation to have with a 3 year old...let alone one who REALLY wants an Ogre.
We also went shopping and I bought an Easter Dress....I was so excited to buy a bright colorful Southern lady dress that I picture Truvy wearing in "Steel Magnolias" and told the Lil' Fella the entire time I was trying them on why I wanted to look extra pretty for church. (side note: I seriously LOVE buying a 'grown up' Easter Dress..I can't wait for Sunday). That we'd be buying him a new tie, because we want to honor the meaning of Easter. I had hope when he wanted to leave the store wearing the tie and jacket.
We'll see how it works. I'm sure the Easter Bunny will bring his Ogre but I'm hoping that maybe somewhere along the way we can tame the egg-spectations of yet another holiday and focus on the simple message that is Easter.