I have loved Easter Sunday since I was a kid. My childhood traditions were pretty normal. My sister and I would color eggs on Saturday night and then eagerly wait for the Easter Bunny to come during the midnight hours so we could wake up and go on a living room hunt.
But we didn’t hunt for Easter eggs. My mother had those safely tucked away in the fridge so they would not “go bad” without proper refrigeration, lest we all get sick from food poisoning while celebrating the Resurrection of Christ.
See, our Easter bunny always brought candy … and one brand new stuffed bunny, and hid them in various parts of our house. And really what kid wants eggs when they can have candy?
The thing is that I thought everyone got candy on Easter morning. But when I got a little older, most of my friends said the Easter bunny brought them eggs, or they went on an Easter eggs hunt in their backyard. Of course, many of their moms and dads gave them a chocolate Russell Stover bunny but by and large, they searched for eggs before they donned their Easter clothes and attended church services.
When I had kids, I realized that our Easter bunny kept the same habits that my childhood Easter bunny did. When my kids wake up on Easter morning, they find candy of all kinds carefully hidden behind books and in drawers, sometimes on a shelf and often on a window ledge. The only difference is that our Easter bunny now leaves tracks, footprints in the shape of one of our many stuffed bunnies we’ve collected over the years (that oddly smell like Johnson’s baby powder). When my kids follow the tracks, they can see where the Easter bunny has painstakingly stashed the loot.
Back when I was little, the Easter bunny told my mother where the candy was so she would watch us search for it while telling us if we were getting warmer or getting very, very cold. The best part was when my mother forgot about one of the hiding places, and we’d find candy a few days or even months later in a rarely used kitchen drawer. Our current Easter bunny also brings little things like stickers, wind-up bunny and chick toys and of course, that one new stuffed bunny, so it’s not a complete sugar overload.
So while today, Good Friday, is the most somber day on the Christian calendar, by tomorrow night, we’ll be preparing for the Easter Day celebration. I’ll make sure we have white vinegar in the cupboard for eggs coloring, not to mention eggs. I’ll try my best not to crack the eggs while boiling and cook them thoroughly (Yes, mom salmonella, I know).
This year I bought a coloring kit that comes complete with plastic cups so for the first time I have eliminated searching for enough short, clear glasses in which we mix the colors and dip. Then all we have to do is cut up some carrots to leave out for the hungry bunny and a glass of juice. (Unlike Santa, the Easter bunny seems much more health conscious).
So as I sit here making a list of items for the big day, I’m wondering if your Easter bunny brings candy or eggs? After all, as my friend John Cave Osborne pointed out, that bunny can be one tricky fellow in his essay, “5 Reasons I Don’t Like The Easter Bunny.”
What traditions do you carry over from your childhood? Do you hunt for eggs on Easter morning? Do you search for candy? Or a combination of both?