Sunday, March 27, 2005

Your basket is on the roof

There were so many things on the agenda this Easter: help out at the egg-hunt held in the tiny park behind our house; go to David's family dinner; strap pink bunny ears on Goblin and parade her in front of the neighbors. But alas, the day was gray and drippy, and so was I. The lingering cough from the pneumonia kept me on the couch most of the day; neither of us were in any shape to go to a family gathering, what with the wheezing and the hacking. So it was a quiet day, capped off with the watching of that traditional Easter fare, Battlestar Galactica.

I read a depressing article in the New York Times today that said the new big thing for Easter is branded Easter baskets for children. Parents and grandparents, instead of putting some chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and plastic Easter grass in a basket, can instead plunk down $15 for a NASCAR or Barbie themed basket with toys and gadgets and maybe a piece of candy or two.

So, Easter is the new Christmas. Great.

My parents enjoyed holidays - the fun family-activity stuff. There were a few boxes of holiday-related decorations and supplies out in the garage, which I always liked peeking into ; it heightened the anticipation, knowing that the baskets and Easter grass and egg-dying apparatus were out there, just waiting.

We always dyed eggs, moving up from the usual vinegar-and-coloring Paas kits to more ambitious endeavors - Ukrainian-style egg-decorating, little plastic-egg diorama things, and one year some sort of mod looking oil-based dip-art for eggs.

The Easter Bunny would leave us baskets full of the requisite eggs, colored grass, chocolate bunnies, and jelly beans, but we had to work for it. Easter meant a treasure hunt.

This wasn't just going around the lawn looking under leaves for eggs; no, my parents went all out, creating maps and puzzles, watching as we each followed our own trail of notes and clues.

The baskets would finally be found in unlikely places: one year I remember mine was on the roof (the chocolate bunnies removed to a safer place away from the Arizona sun) and my sister's was in the dryer. It was this kind of creativity and spirit of fun that I think did a lot to make me (and my sister and brother) who we are now. We're all writers (albeit of different sorts); we're really trying to create that same kind of experience - constructing a puzzle, leaving little notes and hints, beaming as someone follows the trail up to the roof to find a treasure.


Blogger David said...

Your basket is on the roof this year, too. Goblin took it up there and has been waiting next to it, shivering in the cold and rain and wearing bunny ears.

4:21 AM  
Blogger Hanuman1960 said...

Aaaw! Poor Goblin!

I completely agree that Easter is becoming just like Christmas! My nephew got gift cards to Toys R'Us,Barnes & Noble, video games, and DVDs, as well as chocolate bunnies and other assorted candy!

5:57 AM  

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