Here Comes Peter Cottontail…

I’ve been sick.  Very yucky sick.  Honestly aside from the occasional cold, I really don’t get sick very often, but this stomach virus has knocked me on my behind, and my appetite and my disposition have both suffered a substantial blow.  Suffice it to say I’m not feeling the spirit of the approaching holiday.  My children have come home from school with bags of candy for the last couple of days (swell, thanks), and are eagerly anticipating their Easter baskets.

The stores are telling me it’s long past time to buy candy; the magazines are telling me to shape cakes and pies into rabbits and eggs, to dip cookies in icing and draw faces on them, to put candy ON cakes. There are filled chocolate bits everywhere.  Now I DO like chocolate, but good grief.  I have to continually remind myself that each and every one of these holidays means SOMETHING other than a sugar landslide – that people celebrated these holidays in times when our average sugar intake was much lower.  I’m guessing that meant they didn’t quite go about these days in the same way.

Whatever these holidays mean to you personally, I wanted to share with you the thing I must continually remind myself of: these are OUR holidays.  Last year I described my kids’ pre-school Easter party as part of a habit driven holiday, that sometimes tradition drives our celebration in ways that don’t really fit our beliefs or our goals anymore.  But our holidays need not be habit driven.  You get to decide how to go about them.  We get to decide how many desserts to serve (or how many to eat).  If you have little ones, you are allowed to set limits (really, you may be surprised by how easily that goes over).  You can decide to come up with an activity to occupy more of the day to take the focus off food.  You can start a new tradition based on whatever meaning you want the day to have for you and your loved ones.  And you needn’t give up all the other things that your kids might be expecting in order to do that.   There is a lot of grey area here friends.  And the lovely thing is that YOU get to navigate that grey area and celebrate your holiday in a way that creates joy and well-being for you.  The holidays are joyful, particularly when we pause and remember that they are about more than baskets of candy.

I am off shortly to procure some Jordan almonds (the surprise winner in last year’s minimalist Easter basket).  This year the awesome twosome will get a little Easter candy and some spring outdoor play bits in their baskets.  We’ll then go their grandmother’s house for an egg hunt and supper with the family.  As you prepare for whatever the week brings for you, I hope you remember that there is always room for a new, healthier tradition. And whatever you are celebrating this week, I hope you have a fabulous time.

Look here for specific suggestions on maintaining healthy eating habits in the face of a holiday.
Here are some lessons learned from our last Easter gathering, including a recipe for a super over-indulgence recovery smoothie.

This post was shared  at the Creative HomeAcre Hop.

21 responses

  1. I just love this! It seems like every holiday, the stores are forcing chocolates into our bellies. I like chocolate- but in moderation! A bunny after a big heart after santas can be a bit much. Yay for healthier choices! 🙂

    • Thanks! I like sweets too, but I feel like the amounts just keep growing and growing. And my kids get drowned in it at every holiday. I’m lucky they still go along with what I say without complaint as regards portion control. I really think it tastes better when we don’t eat it all the time. Maybe I’m weird that way.

  2. I have decided that what little chocolate my grand children receive this year will come from their parents. I am making each a gift they can enjoy that has cost me very little (less than $5 for each child). I would rather give experience or fun educational things. I am also trying to set the example that it’s the thought that counts rather than the cost associated with the gift.

    • Good for you. We’ve intentionally kept our gift offerings small and meaningful and nobody here seems unhappy about it. I wonder how much of a relief many parents would find it if they realized how much less they could do and still have perfectly content children.

  3. And even though this is the ‘correct’ holiday for Peeps, and I plan on enjoying them (although not eating them), I am constantly amused by the branching out of Peeps… halloween and the 4th of July now boast their own Peeps. Why should the folks who make Peeps miss out on the sugar-i-fi-cation of the holidays? Rock on Little Sis! The kids will enjoy their baskets – I have NO doubt!

    • 4th of July Peeps? Clearly I’m not paying enough attention. I can feel Peep crunch on my teeth right now. Which is not good because I still feel a little like I’m gonna be sick.

  4. Hope you are feeling better. I am visiting from Natural Living Monday. Great post, encouraging some pause on the amount of sugar served on a holiday.
    I was pleased that my daughter’s family (with 4 young children) chose to bring their Easter celebration to our son’s college. We (grandma & grandpa) stayed in a hotel with them. We hid a few treats in the hotel room for the kids. After breakfast we attended church with our son. We had dinner together (and I didn’t have to cook!) and then had a egg hunt at an arboretum. We saw robins and the little shoots of spring flowers. The children enjoyed running around on a sunny, breezy day.
    Have a good week!

  5. What a GREAT GREAT post. I couldn’t agree more. My husband and I are always talking about ways to avoid emphasizing the over indulgent food habits on holidays for our daughter when she gets older. I posted about keeping Easter a little bit lighter and eco-friendly this year as well! I am glad that there is someone out there who agrees with me!
    Here from Mostly Homemade Mondays

    • Thanks so much for the compliment! And you’re right – it is always nice to know you’re not the only one who finds it all to be a little (or a lot) over the top. Love your blog!

  6. Great post! My mom sends us Easter candy each year (small chocolate bunny, small white chocolate bunny, and either malted milk eggs or jelly beans) and it lasts the 3 of us well into May. We tend to forget to eat candy, even when it’s in a clear jar on the counter as the eggs are now. We still have lollipops up in the cupboard from last year’s 4th of July parade….

    I was in charge of one of the Easter receptions at my church this year, and since it was very successful, after I got home I made a list of what we served (the basis of my post today)–and I actually turned off my iPad and then realized I had forgotten to list the sweets! I had arranged them on platters and later put away the leftovers, but I was so busy enjoying the savory foods and fruit that I hardly ate any sweets.

    • Thanks Becca! I’m constantly amazed by how much candy my children receive from folks every time a holiday rolls around. They both have a big basket they occasionally choose a piece from, but I’m quite sure it will never actually be empty before the next wave arrives. I think forgetting about them is just fine! 😉

  7. Pingback: Suh-weeeeeeet!! | my sister's pantry

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