Here Comes Peter Cottontail
Growing up in a family of five children, we had a lot of Easter traditions. I’ve tried to share most of them with my daughter from a very young age. As well as trying out a few new ones. Luckily, she’s still so young that she doesn’t really remember what we did from one year to the next. So basically the last three years have just been practice runs. Now that she’s getting a little older I know that this year is the first that will really count.
As children it was our practice to make a “nest” for the Easter Bunny to lay eggs in every year. I know, many people told me that this sounds so weird. I’m not even sure where the tradition came from, but I vividly remember decorating the nest each year with tons of grass, wild flowers that my sister and I would pick from the yard, honeysuckle and even some coloring pages. Saturday night we would place a big, juicy carrot and some celery in the nest and the Giant Rabbit would sit there and snack while he laid the eggs. Or at least that’s what I remember thinking as a kid. We haven’t done this yet with Lena, but this is the year I think she’ll be ready for it!
Last year the Easter Bunny had a trail of eggs leading from Lena’s bedroom when she woke up, all the way to her basket. That was a lot of fun, seeing her try to pick them up and wake up to check out the basket. Hopefully the Bunny can get it together to do that again this year as we thought it was a fun touch.
One tradition that that I enjoyed SO much as a kid was the Easter Bunny leaving TONS of candy in my basket… M&M’s, jelly beans, Heavenly Hash Eggs, Pecan Eggs, Gold Brick Eggs, Peanut M&M’s and of course, no Easter basket was complete without the GIANT hollow bunny made out of milk chocolate.
The bunny was pretty much the most important part of the entire gift. It took several weeks to eat each year, so he was the gift that kept on giving.
To my great disappointment (though I’m not sure why I feel this way), Lena really doesn’t like chocolate that much. She likes certain chocolate candies and cookies, but she’s quite particular. And, in the past, the Easter Bunny has dropped off a very nice hollow bunny that Lena just won’t touch. I just can’t fathom why or how any kid could say no to all of that delicious chocolate. Yet here we are.
I guess we have been pretty fortunate in that our daughter hasn’t really been that big of a fan of any candy until recently. She’s also been known to say she is “done” and walk away from it once she’s had enough. That’s something I don’t remember doing as a kid.
Now that I know more about her likes and dislikes of candy, I’ve decided to limit the candy and go more for the non-candy gifts.. I mean the Easter Bunny has been advised that Lena prefers gifts that do not involve chocolate.
I believe the Big Bunny is planning to bring (another) kite, a pad for drawing and coloring, as well as a couple of Melissa and Doug water wow coloring pads. There should be some candy in there too, it’s just such a waste when she still has Halloween and Christmas candy left. Besides it not being good for anyone, we’ve noticed that candy sometimes causes her to lack some self control, which then leads to behavior problems (shocker). And since we are planning to go to Mass after the Easter baskets have been ransacked, we don’t need behavior problems.. Here is a picture of Lena’s basket from 2018:
Another tradition that I plan to create is going to the Easter Triduum once Lena is a bit older. Or at least some of it. I think I have to work on Good Friday this year, but that would be a great place for those with young children to start since it’s earlier in the afternoon versus the Thursday services which usually start later, and the Easter Vigil that, by it’s very nature, starts late in the day for young ones.
I began attending the Triduum as an adult when I joined the choir since we sang at each service. It wasn’t something my parents ever brought us to or even talked about, but I think those services gave much more meaning to the spiritual reality of the Easter celebration. I highly encourage anyone interested to attend some part of it.
I’d LOVE to hear some of your favorite Easter traditions, those you had as a kid or the ones you may practice now with your own children.