Our home is an Easter Bunny free zone.
A long time ago, years before having kids, I decided that I didn't want to make the Easter Bunny part of holiday observances in my household. There were quite a number of reasons for this, but the biggest was that Easter seemed to be taking a sinister turn towards being a new Giftmas. While I enjoy chocolate as much as the next gal, the idea of a very important time of reflection and renewal devolving into a crass, commercial celebration of candy with piles of wrapped gifts bothered me, and I made a conscious decision not to perpetuate it in my own family.
My kids are still pretty young at 4 years and 6 years, but we talk about what Easter symbolizes in the Christian sphere and also on more deep-rooted celebration of the renewal of life, including why eggs and bunnies feature so strongly in this holiday. When it's all watered down, for me Easter is a time for reflection, self-redemption, and rebirth of the spirit.
This is New Year's of my heart, when my year truly begins.
This year #Kid1 asked about the Easter Bunny.
He seemed curious about the whole thing, rather than wanting the bunny to come visit his house. It took me back for a moment -- I bent very slightly on my "no Santa" plans, but I am absolutely unwilling to entertain the idea of the Easter Bunny. He was easily placated with the explanation that some people celebrate the holiday in that manner at their houses, but that we choose to do it differently here. Being well-versed in the concept of multiculturalism -- having a variety of friends with a variety of beliefs -- this fit with his world view.
We celebrated the holiday family-style and drove in to MacDonald's Corners to mark the holiday at Wheeler's Maple Syrup Camp and Pancake House. We arrived around 10am when it was still pretty quiet and dined on a fantastic spread of pancake, maple sausages and maple syrup. I was amazed that both boys ate just shy of what I managed to eat -- it was no small feat for me to swallow that last bite of pancake! After picking up some maple taffy, we went outside for a walk in the sugar bush and took in the Easter egg hunt as we did so. The museum intrigued the boys -- they seem to love old hand tools as much as I do. Our morning was rounded off with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the bush. We were really lucky in that the previous ride had been overly full and we got to have our own little private sleigh ride!
The rest of the day was spent around the house hanging out as a family. I wandered down to the Market and bought a few bunches of Easter flowers for my windowsill and blew out some eggs for us to decorate. The boys and I are going to make an egg tree today -- I have a bunch of great branches from my corkscrew hazelnut I will use to construct the "tree". I am going to use the leftover egg dye to colour some merino roving for spinning -- currently my Turkish spindle holds a sock weight single-ply of a beautiful soft blue merino, but I'm itching to get back to a wilder and crazier colourway. I think a variegated Easter egg roving will hit the spot just right.
It's now March 16, 2018, and I am once again reflecting on Easter. When I wrote this piece, back in 2008, we only had two children. We have three more kids now -- a total of five -- but the Easter Bunny has never visited our house.
We make Easter decorations, cook up a roast ham or roast leg of lamb spread, and spend the day together as a family. We still do an egg or basket hunt with a small variety of sweet treats. A couple years, when weather and mud have cooperated, we've gone to feed the birds in the woods. My corkscrew hazelnut egg tree didn't work out -- I needed a drill bit I didn't have and by the time I'd found it I had lost interest, but I picked up a stark metal tree on Christmas clearance (similar to this one) that I'm planning to use to display eggs this year. I also have to pick up one more Ukrainian painted egg -- I have one for each child that I like to bring out for display this time of year. Kid #5 was just a touch too late with her birthday last year.
Easter at our house continues to be an Easter Bunny-free affair, and I have no regrets.
It's simple, laid back, and I wouldn't change a thing.