When I was a kid, Easter morning was almost as good as Christmas. We all had a (small) basket filled with candy–my dad’s favorites–Mars minis, M&M’s, old fashioned jelly beans, and malted milk balls in the shape of Easter eggs. (Never had a Peep in my life. Didn’t even know what they were until I had kids. Same goes for Cadbury Cream eggs, which I knew about from the commercials but just assumed they must be gross.)
The Easter Bunny hid our baskets of candy and always one toy, something crafty or educational, and seemingly far cooler than whatever we got for Christmas. One year I got a beading loom. Another year it was rocket making kits. Another year (2nd grade, the year I spent my Spring Break in the ICU for a life threatening asthma attack) we all got Walkman’s and various Contemporary Christian tapes. No lie, that was when I first fell in love with Carman, and I can’t say I regret his serenading me through that hospital stay one little bit.
my parents the Easter Bunny was pretty good about not repeating hiding spots of the baskets through the years. It probably helped that we lived in a new house for most of my life on about a three year cycle, but even so, the usual spots (dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, top of a grandfather clock) were rarely, if ever, repeated, though we always went to them immediately suspecting the Easter Bunny wasn’t terribly clever. I want to say we all found our baskets fairly quickly, with the exception of the year that they were all under our own beds. I’m sure there were some tears for the last person to find his or hers, especially if that person was my sister Laura. She’s number three, which makes her the most irrationally sensitive anyway, but combine that with the fact that she was also a middle child and uncharacteristically competitive for a Paulus, and if her basket’s spot was a toughy, well, I’m sure there were tears.
Eliott has the same problem in our house.
So I have to admit, I have largely done Easter the same way with my own kids for the last decade. One exception is that my kids don’t have baskets, but big plastic Easter buckets which I found for a quarter on clearance and had the wherewithal to buy 4, even though I probably only had 2 kids at the time. Also, I tend to skip the damn Easter grass because, obviously. And I’m sure there were a few very young years where baskets were hiding in plain sight on the couch. Admittedly, the toy surprises have never been purchased from a Childcraft catalogue, but usually my kids act like the day is as good or better than Christmas.
Our Easter Bunny is cheap. The candy selection is limited to whatever is free (or mostly free) at the drug stores in the weeks leading up to Easter (which always includes Cadbury Eggs, for the win) and there are usually extras in the cabinet for weeks because the best deals always require buying multiple bags.
Add to this Easter parties at school and one or two Easter egg hunts around town, and we’ve basically got Halloween #2 on our hands.
Why has every holiday on Earth been injected with steroids?
I don’t know what got into me this year, but I drank the Pinterest Kool-aid, and despite a whirlwind Spring Break (with absolutely no extra time to myself) I managed to pull off a completely new Easter tradition that I fear just might stick.
I did scavenger hunts, you guys.
Four of them.
I started with the plastic eggs, and figured I needed to keep things color coded or my genius children would very quickly be fighting. It turns out we had enough pink, yellow, orange, and purple to give each kid 10 clues.
I started with Eliott, and a very lofty goal of Easter limericks.
Within half an hour, things were quickly going about this well:
I bet you thought that was easy,
Then give your brain a little squeasy.
Because the next treat is hidden
In a place that’s sometimes forbidden,
Think of snacks that are not sweet, but ____________.
John made some serious bets that she would not be able to solve most (if any) of them. (The answer for the above if you still haven’t got it is “cheesy,” and the egg was hidden in a box of Cheese-Its, and this clue took her almost 20 minutes. Not exaggerating.)
I abandoned project Eliott for a few minutes and decided to gank clues for Carter’s eggs from someone else, via Pinterest. What I found was this very cute and pretty simple Free Printable Christ-Centered Easter Morning Scavenger Hunt Cards.
Let’s just say the juxtaposition of the Jesus-clues to the Easter-Bunny-up-late-with-an-entire-bottle-of-champaign-clues was maybe a bit of a mixed message. And I’m not sure the right kid got the Jesus-clues, in the end.
But whatever. There’s always next year.
Easter morning was fun. Isaiah’s clues were just pictures, telling him where to find his next egg, and he even solved some of Eliott’s riddles because, obviously.
Avery’s eggs were just hidden in various places downstairs without clues, and she didn’t find any of them. In hindsight, it would have been smarter to just scatter them around the carpet, all in the same place. Again, whatever. Isaiah found her 10th egg on Monday and I rewarded him by letting him eat the candy inside.
Easter. The gift that keeps on giving.