This Year's Easter

Okay, I'm going to be totally honest and I'm sure many a parent is going to think I'm the Evil Queen - the Easter Bunny did not visit our house this year. Gasp! Preston's old nuance to rummage through the whole of my house starting in the kitchen and eventually making his way to my room and closet has re-surfaced and it is causing a problem. Did I ever mention the time that he left a half-eaten cookie in the corner of his room and within 24 hours we had an ant colony in his bedroom? No joke - his room was teaming with them and we had to spray everywhere; it was pretty bad. So, ever since we've had the hard and fast rule that there is to be no food outside the kitchen. At any rate, I'm really at my wits end trying to curb this kid's sugar addiction - because quite honestly, that is what it mostly comes down to. So, I just decided that I did not want any treats in this house to further tempt his snatching and squirreling (I would definitely not be setting him up for success). Then I started to wonder where in the world the candy for Easter tradition came from anyway - the Easter Bunny and the resurrection of Christ don't seem to have a common thread. So I did a little research and it wasn't super insightful.

There really isn't a connection that I could find. I found that the origins of Easter MAY have started in 16th century Germany when the Oster Haws (hare) would bring colored eggs to the well-behaved children. I'm guessing this was the Christmas version of Christ's death and resurrection as Santa had a naughty and nice list for those kids during the season of Christ's birth. The eggs bit came from the symbolism of eggs for fertility and spring. So, I started searching online for Easter traditions that I could use to replace the candy garbage and focus more on Christ. Three traditions that I found and will be adding to my repertoire are as follows:

1) Placing a scrap of paper in an empty plastic Easter egg and each day reading a scripture pertaining to the death and resurrection of Christ. The twelfth egg will be empty signifying the empty tomb.
2) Easter egg hunt that consists of one chocolate egg for each person and one plastic egg per person with a five or ten dollar bill inside. I just get to be sneakier with hiding places.
3) Resurrection rolls. I found the recipe for these on pintrest and they were fun, easy and quite tasty. You start with a marshmallow that represents Christ. You dip the marshmallow first in butter and then in a cinnamon sugar mixture (3 T sugar, 2 T cinnamon) and this represents preparing Christ's body for burial as they used oil and spices. The marshmallow is then wrapped in a crescent roll triangle (pinching all the sides to make sure it is sealed) which represents the linens/shroud. Then into the oven (or tomb) and closing the entrance to the tomb (oven door) and waiting three days (or 12-14 minutes in this case) before opening the tomb. When you cut into the roll, the marshmallow is gone - He has risen! It was fun and kept all my kids engaged. We enjoyed the rolls with my delicious scrambled eggs and some bacon and Barnyard Cocktail (see recipes page).

I felt like those were decent substitutions without driving my kids into a either a sugar-induced coma or frothing-at-the-mouth-hyperactive-frenzy. Not to mention, a good focus on what Easter is really all about. On the flip-side, my step-son went to visit his mom for Easter this year and came home with a truckload of candy and naughty items; everything I was trying to avoid. I tried my best to replace them all with 'organic' options, all the while wondering why I felt the need to replace them versus just getting rid of them and calling it good. One of my good friend's posted a link to a recent CBS 60-Minutes news-story on sugar and toxicity just today; it's fourteen minutes and well worth the watch:

Let me say however that I still believe in moderation! I do enjoy a good treat and enjoy baking immensely. To cut goodies out completely isn't realistic to me, but reducing the amounts or using healthier alternatives works for me.

Have you ever tried to totally forfeit sugar from your diet? Did you stick with it? Did you notice any strong health benefits from doing so?


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