March 17, 2008

What's in the Basket?

Some of my favorite memories from childhood include Easter morning. Sneaking out in the pre-dawn light, still clad in sleep-wrinkled jammies, my brothers and I would head straight for the dining room. Setting aside the whole religious aspect of the day, we never doubted that the Easter Bunny (aka MOM) had come by in the night with our baskets full of treats.

Jelly beans, candy eggs, Peeps, solid chocolate bunnies for each of us. All nestled snuggly on a bed of that ubiquitous green "grass" that stuck to everything and could be found clinging in the corners of the house all year round.

Was it the excitement of the moment that made Easter so fun? That thrill of knowing a treat was coming, the first sight of the baskets, brightly decorated and waiting just for us?

Or did we just want the candy, and want it NOW?

As a mom now, myself, I try hard to give my girls a balanced perspective on food. Nothing is verboten, we still all have our treats, but in general, the house is filled with relatively healthy fare and we leave the candy at the store. For me, especially, this is important. I have a massive sweet tooth and it's been a real struggle to stick to a balanced diet in order to lose these last few pounds. So the idea of bringing baskets full of delicious and indulgent treats into the house, you understand, has given me some pause.

I want my girls to have that same excitement for Easter morning that I so clearly remember from my childhood. But I don't want the whole season to start off with the big bang that would be my sugar-high daughter's head exploding. And I don't know if I should pass on the tradition of holidays being centered around treats. Not that it's bad, necessarily, but...considering my own struggles with weight, I don't want to set up any more hurdles for my girls than I have to, you know?

I suppose I will try, once again, for a balanced approach. One easter basket that we all share as a family, some candy, some toys and hopefully a nice long walk to enjoy the beginning of a new season together. An emphasis on health, happiness and togetherness would be slightly shallow, I think, without the touch of shared pleasure at enjoying a special sweet, too.

But, just in case you think I've over-exaggerated the dangers of bringing candy into my home? As I've typed, I've been thoughtfully munching on the bag of jelly beans that I purchased for the family easter basket this morning.

No wonder that Easter Bunny hops so much. He's trying to burn off all the noshing he does between deliveries!

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