I feel bad admitting this, because I know of it's theological importance, but Easter is always going to have a bit of a tough time. Growing up Catholic, I frequently heard frustrated mutterings of Christmas being the less important, but more celebrated holiday and why that indicated a problem in society at large.
I am absolutely not here to debate that, I mean, society DOES have some problems. But I would like to offer an alternate point of view: Christmas is easier to celebrate because it's Always. On. The. Same. Day.
Easter jumps around every year, and that's why people don't celebrate it with the same enthusiasm. No one remembers when it's happening.
So if you saw the title of this blog post and started frantically Googling "when is easter 2021," don't worry, you're not alone. And the answer is: yes, it is this Sunday, April 4th.
But don't worry, there are lots of ways to create magic around Easter (if you celebrate it and are into that kind of thing) using the stuff around your house. As an expert in this type of, "Oh whoops" parenting, here are some of my favorites.
Dye Easter Eggs with boiling water, vinegar, and food coloring.
Growing up, we always bought those Paas kits and I'll admit that I never thought twice about the need for that little piece of wire and colored tabs. But it turns out it's super easy to dye eggs without them. You can even fit the eggs into a wire whisk for dipping into the dye.
Out of food coloring or vinegar? Look, I hear you. It was a long pandemic and one of my kids' favorite "science experiments" was dying vinegar and pouring it into baking soda to watch it explode into a frothy, multi-colored mess. Did they learn a lot about science? No, but it killed 15 minutes during those winter days that each seemed to be about 200 hours long.
So if you're out of dying supplies, just hard boil some eggs and let the kids go crazy with markers and stickers. As my living room walls will tell you, kids love to color on literally anything that is not paper.
Make Easter baskets with the stuff you have around your house.
The best part about current design trends is that you probably already have some random woven baskets lying around. Maybe you use them to hold your mail, or hair accessories, or it's a basket filled with the other baskets that you bought during the weekend you planned to "get this place organized."
But even if you haven't ever been to a Container Store and therefore don't have seven baskets that seemed like a good idea when you bought them, you can get creative with literally anything that holds items: a kids' toy shopping basket, big tupperware containers...technically even a wastebasket is a basket, and then you can be like, "That crazy Easter Bunny" and the kids will always remember the time the Easter Bunny hid their stuff in a trash can.
As for that plastic grass that stores have conned us into buying - shredded paper works just as well, and this is a really good opportunity to shred all your tax documents after filing! So have a shredding party and make some identity protecting "grass."
So the candy part is not a problem for me, because I LOVE Easter candy and start buying it the second I see it in stores. But if you don't have any Cadbury Cream Eggs around because you ate them all (no judgement), here are some alternatives:
1. Girl Scout Cookies (there's a reason spring is my favorite time of year and it has nothing to do with robins and buds on trees)
2. Chocolate chips - you can use the egg cartons that held your now boiled eggs and toss some various chocolate in there.
3. Peanut butter chocolate balls - No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (Buckeyes) Recipe by Tasty
All you need for these are butter, peanut butter, powdered sugar and chocolate chips and they are really, really good.
Extras for the basket:
If you want to go the extra mile, you can make a sock bunny that this person on the internet claims takes 5 minutes but would probably take me much longer. It looks cute, but I will not do this as it also looks like a surefire way to say, "Where is all this rice coming from?" every seven minutes for the rest of my life.
Other ideas to add magic:
- Let your kids run around the yard collecting "bunny food" to leave out tonight. The best part is that my kids collect acorns like it is their job and leave them around the house for me to step on (controversial take: this is worse than Legos) - so this is the best way for them to collect ALLLLLL the acorns and then I can be like, "Look at that, the Easter Bunny ate them and now they are GONE."
- Hide your makeshift baskets in plain site and make a map left by the Easter Bunny for the kids to find them.
- Buy Easter candy on clearance on Monday and "find" it later in your house - or, to add more magic to YOUR life, just eat it yourself throughout the month of April.
For more help keeping childhood magic in the face of mere mortal parenting, check out my books - Larry Skadarry the Forgetful Tooth Fairy and Ham Hands the Christmas Elf. From now until April 30th, 10% of all sales will be donated to the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada. You can learn about the girl who inspired that donation here.