Fact: Easter candy is by far the most delicious of all the holiday candies.
Related Fact: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Eggs are more delicious than regular cups and any other holiday Reese’s shape (Trees, Pumpkins).
Also A Fact: Large Easter Egg Hunts for the masses are THE worst.
Coming off the heels of my anti-Leprechaun trap post, it may seem like I don’t like many holidays. That is totally untrue. I have no problem with Easter. I like Easter. I enjoy Easter. I make myself sick on Starburst Jellybeans because dear God those things go down so smooth. But after the experience our first and last town Easter Egg hunt, I refuse to let our children participate ever again. Perhaps your town runs one that results in squeals of excitement rather than disappointed wails that made your ears bleed. Perhaps you’ve gone to a church Easter egg hunt where everyone’s basket runneth over with eggs and are smiling smiles as broad as my waistband after downing Reese’s peanut butter eggs like it’s my second job.
Our town egg hunt is not like those utopian hunts. This was as dystopian as it gets with flashes of the cornucopia scene inThe Hunger Games unfolding in our wonderful little town. And I’m not even talking about the children – it was the adults. You would have thought those eggs contained the Holy Grail or rare works of art with the way they were snatched up. It was absolute carnage so fast and furious that my eyes did not have time to process it in its entirety. Lulled into a false sense of security with AJR falling within the 1-5 year old group, I thought we were in the trust tree, the nest. WRONG! Parents were shoving kids out of the way, setting picks, and boxing out for these plastic eggs. They carried their children football style under their arms or simply let them stand in the middle of the fray as they scrambled for eggs on their children’s behalf. It became clear to me as I stood back with Olivia in the stroller, that we were absolutely screwed. Joe had naively thought our son would be responsible for getting his own eggs and while AJR has always possessed lightening quick speed, he is no match for a grown man on a mission to not let his children down. It was a pastel bloodbath that thankfully ended in about three minutes. AJR’s basket was EMPTY. Literally nothing to show for an event I had been hyping up for a week. We were all in shock. And although the sun was shining on that bright Saturday morning, there was a chill in the air as clouds of disappointment rolled in casting a dark shadow over what should have been a happy morning. AJR’s face in this photo perfectly sums up our feelings on egg hunts.
Whether for the photo op or the sheer enjoyment of it, 99.9% of the time I am the one in our marriage that drags our family to all sorts of “funtivities”. A funtivity can be things like visiting a farm, picking your own fruit that you could easily find at the grocery store, attending small-town carnivals where you spend as much in tickets as you would on entrance to Disney World. Those sorts of funtivities. However, even this experience hardened my heart and developed a bitterness towards egg hunts that I’m fairly certain my cynical husband was turned on by.
Lest you think I’m that parent that believes every kid should be a winner, let me set you straight. I think it’s healthy that there are winners and losers and that learning to cope with disappointment is one of the greatest life lessons you can possibly have. However, an Easter egg hunt is not an athletic competition or a game with winners and losers. This is an event where everyone should come out smiling. Not an event two and three year olds are reduced to tears because they’re holding an empty basket since their parents didn’t hustle enough to get them eggs. So, for that reason, I’m out. I’ve seen egg hunts advertised over the past few years and I can honestly say that I haven’t even considered it for a single moment.
Instead, I will delight in setting up an Easter egg hunt in our backyard. A fair and just hunt where each kid can only collect a specific colored egg that they’ve been assigned (blue & yellow for AJR ; pink and purple for Olivia) Maybe it seems a little too controlled but I’d prefer not to have a Lord of the Flies situation erupt in my backyard. Doing it in this manner removes the competitiveness, and shockingly, even fosters cooperation with big brother helping little sister find her eggs (cue all the heart eyes). More importantly it ensures that there is only fun and excitement. I’ve loved watching the kids scramble around the yard grabbing egg after egg. The photo ops were a-plenty as big beaming smiles overtook their sweet faces with each egg they found. I’ll take that any day over the carnage I witnessed.