We don't do egg hunts on Sunday--too much partying for the Sabbath for us--so we had our Easter Partying today.
We started preparing yesterday. There isn't spare money lying around this year for Easter Candy, so we looked at what was at the store and then came home and made peanut-butter filled and marshmallow-filled eggs (and they came out GOOD and were really quite easy and cheap). We bought some cheap jelly beans and peeps and foil-wrapped eggs (for $3.50 all told) and dug up our plastic eggs from years gone by. We found basket-like things (3 baskets, an empty ice cream bucket, and, inexplicably, the two big kids picked a plastic jack-o-lantern and a doll carseat with a ribbon tied on it for a handle! And we boiled 2 dozen eggs.
And then the kids were ansty because I made them go to bed. Daniel woke up after 4 hours of sleep ready to party, and I sent him back to bed. Then a few hours later when he woke up, he was nearly in tears because he thought it was Sunday and he'd missed the whole Easter Party Day!
So today between sessions of conference we dyed Easter eggs. Benji's first egg came out of the dye pink, and he cried. It was so distressing to him to see a pink egg that he made me peel it immediately--and he ate it. He didn't feel comfortable with the whole idea until he saw the big kids nearly finished with their eggs--then he consented to eat colored eggs, but refused to dye any. They each got to color 5 eggs--first with crayon and then with egg dye. The fact that we had egg dye was no less than a miracle. When Chas was here, she did a lot of cleaning (THANK YOU, CHAS!) and one morning I woke up to a clean counter with a little plastic packet of what I immediately recognized as 6 egg dye tablets sealed inside. I don't know how Chas found it, but it was a huge blessing to us. The kids had a great time dying eggs. And then using the leftover dye to paint pictures on fabric, just to see what happened.
Then we filled plastic eggs with candy. The rule at our house is you can only fill your assigned color of egg (each kid gets the same number of plastic eggs, all of one color, to prevent warring, fighting, and competing. And they fill their own so they get what they want inside) and you have to fill them as full as you can (see, since they want to do that anyway, we just made it official so there's no fighting or guilt), but they have to still be able to click closed and stay that way without help (no scotch tape!). Each kid got 7 eggs this year (because that's what we had on hand).
Then we listened to the second session of conference (WONDERFUL).
After it was over, we headed out to do an Easter Egg Hunt. I'm all about easy on the mom, so we set up a chart (so that nobody would see their eggs before it was time), and each kid hid another kid's eggs. I think they might enjoy hiding the eggs more than finding them!
We don't do the wake before dawn and tell your kids a magic giant egg-laying bunny laid eggs all over the yard that you are supposed to EAT (gross!). We don't do fancy elaborate easter baskets with presents in them (why start a tradition like that?! More work, more expense, more thing-related expectations.....I don't even want to pretend to go there. And the kids are plenty happy with coloring eggs and hiding and finding eggs and candy.) We don't do special Easter Clothes (although I love pretty pastel dresses with ribbons and ruffles, Easter dresses are particularly expensive--and I can't seem to reconcile that with Christ's sacrifice that we're supposed to be honoring. So if Anda wants a pretty new dress any time and I can afford or make it, I will because it's fun to have a pretty dress....but not on Easter. It takes the focus off the atonement and puts in on our clothes and our appearance and ourselves). We also don't do "you get as many as you can find....good luck" egg hunts because that is mean to the kids who care the most--the little one. (Great way to celebrate Christ's sacrifice for us--by holding out the promise of something small children REALLY want and then grinding their faces in the dirt because they're tiny. Nice tribute to what Jesus is about.....)
We don't do a lot of the traditions. But we do family and we do fun, and the kids don't care about what we don't do.
And the kids did have fun. They found eggs. They ate candy. They helped make candy. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Anda made everyone Easter Trading Cards to collect. They made good memories with each other. (We did still have some tears. Even with the great lengths we went to in order to abolish competition from the party, Daniel still cried because Anda found her eggs faster than he found his. Ah, well. You can't solve everything.) All in all, it was a nice holiday.
So Happy Easter Everyone!